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Victoria lagging behind on tobacco control
28 May 2012
Victoria is lagging behind other states on tobacco control laws according to the Australian Medical Association. The AMA awarded Victoria the ‘Dirty Ashtray Award’ this weekend at AMA National Conference in Melbourne.
Each year the AMA awards the trophy to the state which scores worst on the AMA / Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) / Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) National Tobacco Scoreboard.
The Scoreboard allocates points to each State and Territory in various categories, including legislation to track how effective governments have been in combating smoking in the preceding year.
AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis said that the Award was a warning on the State’s tobacco control laws.
“This is one award you don’t want to win” said Dr Parnis.
“What this award tells us is that the government is failing to legislate to protect our community from the very serious negative effects of tobacco”.
“Victoria has historically been one of the nation’s tobacco control leaders, but currently we are failing to institute a State-wide ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas and failing to implement no smoking policies at public hospitals and health facilities”.
In April AMA Victoria joined with QUIT, the Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation to call for
-Within 10 metres of children’s playground equipment
-Within 4 metres of entrances to public buildings
-Within 4 metres of public transport stops
-Sporting grounds and facilities
-Patrolled beaches, in the area that falls between the lifesavers’ flags
-Pedestrian malls (e.g. Bourke Street Mall)
-Public events (e.g. food and wine or music festivals
“Smoking bans in outdoor dining areas have been implemented in other states and the sky hasn’t fallen in, there is no reason to think this would be different in Victoria”.
“The time for government to commit to making these changes is now” said Dr Parnis.
For more information contact AMA Victoria Media and Public Affairs Officer Struan Robertson on 0437 450 506.