by VR Sreeraman on  May 28, 2010 at 3:12 PM General Health News
 Commonwealth Government Ranked Best in Fight Against Tobacco
The Commonwealth Government has been ranked first among Australian governments for making the most progress on combating smoking during 2009/10.

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, AMA Federal President, Dr Andrew Pesce, today announced results of the AMA/Australian Council on Smoking and Health (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. For the first time, this year the Commonwealth Government was considered as part of the same ranking process as State and Territory governments.

Presenting the award to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the AMA's annual conference in Sydney, Dr Pesce said: "The Australian Government is to be congratulated on its comprehensive and determined approach, which will make Australia the world leader in tobacco control.

"Recent measures by the Government have included a 25 per cent increase in excise duty on tobacco products, legislation mandating plain packaging for tobacco products, banning tobacco marketing on the internet and increasing funding for media campaigns on smoking.

"The Australian Government has also recognised the importance of tackling Indigenous smoking by committing more than $100 million to the Tackling Indigenous Smoking campaign over the next four years."

Dr Pesce said that he hoped the results of the National Tobacco Control Scoreboard would encourage governments to do more to combat tobacco use.

The recipient of the AMA's Dirty Ashtray Award for the Australian State or Territory that made the least progress on combating smoking during 2009/10 will be announced at the AMA National Conference tonight.

Source: AMA

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