Media Releases

These are recent media releases related to my electorate of Murrumbidgee.

My Ministerial media releases are published in full here.

ACT High Schools students encourage peers to butt out in a creative way

August 08, 2018

Canberra High Year 8 student Kyra Van Den Hurk has won this year’s 2018 Art In Butt Out competition for her creative anti-smoking advertisement design, which will appear on around 60,000 Canberra Milk containers later this year.

Chris Steel MLA, on behalf of the Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris, congratulated Kyra and other finalists on their imaginative designs and their contribution to reducing smoking among young people in the ACT.

“The Art in, Butt out competition is an innovative and positive approach to influencing healthy behaviours among young people, Mr Steel said.

“Smoking rates among ACT secondary students are declining with students who have never smoked almost doubling between 1996 (44 per cent) and 2014 (81 per cent).

“We are very pleased with this progress however we know that we need to reduce the numbers even further.

“Most people start smoking as teenagers and 90 per cent of smokers regret taking up the habit.

“Tobacco smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia with two out of every three long term smokers dying from a smoking-related disease with the average smoker dying 10 years earlier than they should.

The ACT Government will continue to support initiatives such as Art In, Butt Out to reduce smoking rates in Australia by educating young people about the damage smoking can cause to their health and wellbeing.

“I commend the Australian Medical Association ACT’s Tobacco Task Force and Canberra Milk on their ongoing commitment to this competition since its inception in 2008.

“I also thank the parents, guardians and teachers who have provided ongoing support and encouragement,” Mr Steel said.

Art In, Butt Out is a competition open to all Year 8 students across the territory.

The competition is conducted by the AMA ACT's Tobacco Task Force which is a coalition of community sector organisations, whose objectives are to reduce the uptake of smoking, by young people in particular, and to work towards smoking cessation in the community.

The Tobacco Task Force partners are AMA (ACT), Canberra Ash, The Cancer Council ACT, the Heart Foundation ACT and Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service.

To find out more about Art In, Butt Out visit: