2021 AMA Dirty Ashtray Award goes to Big Tobacco and National Retail Association

3 Jun 2021

The 2021 AMA/ACOSH Dirty Ashtray Award was given to Philip Morris Australia (Limited), British American Tobacco Australia (Limited) and Imperial Tobacco Australia (Limited) and the National Retail Association, by AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid in Perth last week.   

Dr Khorshid said decades of public health initiatives which had put Australia at the forefront of smoking reform were at risk. 

“These companies continue to market the world’s most lethal consumer product, that each year kills over 20,000 Australians,” he said.   

Dr Khorshid urged all governments to build on Australia’s success over the last 40 years by focusing on proven and evidence-based strategies. 

“The tobacco industry uses its economic power, lobbying and manipulation of the media to discredit research and influence governments to minimise restrictions on the marketing and availability of tobacco. 

“They aggressively oppose all effective tobacco control policies, such as curbs on advertising, graphic health warnings, increases in tobacco tax, and plain packaging,” Dr Khorshid said. 

Dr Khorshid said the AMA and ACOSH wanted to see the federal government drive a stronger comprehensive national program including:  

  • A sustained public education program, 

  • A ban on tobacco advertising, lobbying and political donations, 

  • Expansions of smoke-free workplaces and public places, 

  • A reduction in the number of retail tobacco outlets, 

  • Hold the tobacco industry accountable for healthcare costs, 

  • Regulate the contents and design of tobacco products to significantly reduce appeal and addictiveness.  

The AMA has also called for the Government to spend $20 million to revive Australia’s highly effective National Tobacco Campaign. 

More details are available here: https://ama.com.au/media/big-tobacco-and-national-retail-association-receive-2021-dirty-ashtray-award