ACT scoops tobacco reform award
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ACT scoops tobacco reform award

The ACT has been recognised for its tough stand on tobacco reform, with the territory winning a national award for efforts to encourage people to butt out.

The ACT and Tasmania were crowned joint winners of the 20th annual National Tobacco Scoreboard Award on Friday, with the two deemed to have been most effective in tobacco control of the state and territory governments.

Announcing the awards at the Australian Medical Association's national conference, AMA president Steve Hambleton said the ACT had excellent laws addressing exposure to passive smoking as well as comprehensive legislation on restrictions on tobacco marketing.

He also pointed to the ACT government's recent discussion paper which considers limits on the number of retailer licences, restricting hours of cigarette sales, and hikes in licence fees to sell tobacco.

Dr Hambleton said the ACT and Tasmania had make outstanding progress in recent years, with both governments given high commendations for improvements in tobacco control legislation and investment.

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Chief Minister Katy Gallagher welcomed the award, saying the ACT government had rolled out a strong policy agenda in an attempt to cut smoking rates and encourage Canberrans to live healthier.

“This award is important recognition for the hard work that the ACT government has done to reduce smoking availability in the ACT and provides encouragement for this work to continue to further build on the positive results we have seen to date," she said.

There are smoking restrictions at ACT health facilities, schools, restaurants and bars, outdoor eating and drinking areas, and in cars carrying children. The government is also moving towards smoking bans at public swimming pools, playgrounds, sporting fields, bus interchanges, university campuses, building entrances, and large public events.

Ms Gallagher said reducing smoking rates made the community a healthier place to live while also decreasing demand on chronic health services.

Tasmania was recognised for a second consecutive year.

Victoria was given the Dirty Ashtray Award for its failure to act on proven tobacco control measures.

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