Big Tobacco, the tobacco industry, was awarded the 2011 Dirty Ashtray Award, for its desperate and deceptive campaign to oppose effective public health measures.
AMA Federal President, Dr Andrew Pesce, today announced
results of the ACOSH National Tobacco Scoreboard.
The Scoreboard allocates points to each State and Territory
in various categories, including legislation, to track how effective
governments have been at combating smoking in the previous 12 months.
Dr Pesce said that in light of so much progress around the
country in relation to tobacco control, it was not appropriate this year to
award the Dirty Ashtray to a Government.
"The tobacco industry's campaign against plain packaging - a
measure recommended by international and national health authorities, including
the AMA - has been disgraceful even by the industry's own standards," Dr Pesce
"The tobacco industry has run public relations, lobbying and
advertising campaigns both directly and through organisations that they fund,
arguing that plain packaging will not work and at the same time that it will be
so effective that it will put people out of work.
"Big Tobacco has run scare campaigns, ranging from threats
of litigation to grossly inflated claims about tobacco smuggling.
"They are clearly worried about losing their last remaining
avenue to advertise their products to children and adults alike.
"Big Tobacco is trying to persuade the Australian Government
and the Australian people out of an important public health measure."
Dr Pesce said that it was important to note that
jurisdictions that had previously been criticised on the Scoreboard had
achieved significant progress in the past year.
"Special recognition is noted for South
Australia and the Northern
Territory for their commitment to action and
important developments throughout the past year," he said.