Cancer Council Queensland applauds Government as leader in tobacco control following award win

Cancer Council Queensland has today commended the Queensland Government on winning the coveted National Tobacco Control Scoreboard Achievement Award for the third year in a row.

The award, which is presented by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH), was announced at the National Press Club in Canberra.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the award recognised the Queensland Government as a leader in tobacco control.

“The Queensland Government should be commended on its strong commitment to tobacco control and continued efforts to protect our community from the dangers of second-hand smoke,” Ms McMillan said.

The prevalence of daily smoking in Queensland has more than halved in the past 20 years to 11 per cent in 2018.*

Ms McMillan said now is not the time for complacency.

“Smoking continues to be the leading cause of premature death and disease in Queensland, smoking accounting for around 3600 death each year – and we need serious action to address it,” Ms McMillan said.**

“Learning from the past, we know how important it is to maintain and strengthen action and investment in tobacco control.

“We echo the call from AMA and ACOSH for the Queensland Government to strengthen controls on the sale of tobacco, remove the exemption for high roller rooms at casinos and reform property laws and government policy to achieve smoke-free strata housing and social housing.

“We also stress the need for funding for a mass media campaign and continued creation of smoke-free spaces”.

“There are 16 cancer types caused by smoking, or second-hand smoke, and these policy interventions would help reduce smoking prevalence and see a major reduction in Queensland’s cancer death rates.”

The AMA/ACOSH National Tobacco Control Scoreboard is compiled annually to measure performance in combating smoking.

Judges from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH), the Cancer Councils, and the National Heart Foundation allocate points to the State, Territory, and Australian Governments in various categories, including legislation, to track how effective each has been at combating smoking in the previous 12 months.

The Northern Territory Government has been judged to have been the worst-performing Australian Government on tobacco control measures over the last 12 months, and received the Dirty Ashtray Award for 2019.

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