Big Tobacco and National Retail Association winners of the 2021 Dirty Ashtray Award

3 Jun 2021

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid presented this year’s Dirty Ashtray Award in Perth this week.

Assisted by the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) and Jeff the Diseased Lung, Dr Khorshid presented the award to Philip Morris Australia (Limited), British American Tobacco Australia (Limited) and Imperial Tobacco Australia (Limited) and the National Retail Association (NRA).

The award was presented on Sunday, ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Monday.

Dr Khorshid said the winners had been recognised for their “relentless attempts to undermine Australia’s tobacco control programs” and said decades of public health initiatives, which had put Australia at the forefront of smoking reform were at risk.

He said Big Tobacco continued to aggressively oppose all effective tobacco control policies, such as curbs on advertising, graphic health warnings, increases in tobacco tax, and plain packaging.

"Big Tobacco is currently spending millions of dollars to persuade our politicians to support the introduction of nicotine e-cigarettes. Nicotine vaping products are growing in popularity among young Australians. Meanwhile the National Retail Association has consistently promoted the policy position of the tobacco industry to make nicotine e-cigarettes available as an ordinary consumer item," Dr Khorshid said. 

“The AMA is highly concerned about the uptake of these products among young Australians, especially because of the clear evidence that young people who use vaping products are much more likely to go on to smoke tobacco. Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, and Imperial Tobacco all own e-cigarette brands.”