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.
For more information on the National Tobacco Control Scoreboard visit https://www.acosh.org/what-we-do/national-tobacco-control-scoreboard/.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.
* 2018 Chief Health Officer report: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/research-reports/reports/public-health/cho-report/current/full
Queensland positives from the National Tobacco Control Scorecard
The Queensland government has continued to protect its community from second-hand smoke in a range of outdoor public areas including public transport, outdoor shopping malls, sports and recreation facilities.
Queensland Health is well ahead of other health services in recording smoking status, delivering brief intervention, and referring patients to evidence-based smoking cessation support (e.g. Quitline). The program has strong components for training, education, and practice guidelines, that are being evaluated to assess effectiveness.
‘Making Tracks’ – toward closing the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders by 2033 – Policy and Accountability Framework indicates a commitment to reducing smoking among Indigenous communities. Funding continues for the B.Strong Brief Intervention training program to strengthen primary healthcare services for Indigenous smokers by increasing the brief intervention skills of health professionals, access to culturally effective resources, and referral to Quitline.
A dedicated smoking cessation website (QuitHQ) has been developed for the Queensland community including quit support, information for health professionals and smoking laws. Promotion of QuitHQ includes on-line messages and billboards.
Top four actions needed
- Allocate consistent funding at evidence-based levels for strong media campaigns to produce declines in smoking.
- Strengthen controls on the sale of tobacco by:
implementing a positive licence scheme with appropriate licence fees;
banning retailer incentives for promoting new products; and
banning employees under 18 from selling tobacco products.
- Remove the exemption for high roller rooms at casinos.
- Reform of property laws and government policy to achieve smoke-free strata housing and social housing.
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