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Press Releases



Evidence grows that standardised “plain” tobacco packaging reduces smoking rates

Thursday 27th April • New international evidence review finds it likely that standard packaging policies reduce rates of smoking despite limited available research and only one country with the policy fully in place • Full UK implementation will be complete on 21st May 2017 with long term impacts expected on youth smoking rates over the […]

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ASH leads ‘Week of Action’ against tobacco industry exploitation

Today, the day of the BAT AGM, marks the start of ASH’s Week of Action against the exploitation and damage caused by the tobacco industry. Youth groups, charities and international organisations are joining a social media protest to highlight how the tobacco industry is undermining international tobacco control. Tobacco harms every type of development, with […]

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New restrictions on tobacco products come into full force on 21st May 2017

12th April 2017 At 12am on 21st May 2017 the revised Tobacco Products Directive 2014[1] comes into full effect alongside the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Product Regulations 2015[2]. This means that all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco sold in the UK must be sold in standardised “plain” packaging and comply with EU rules that include larger […]

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Budget 2017: Modest rise in tobacco tax and new minimum tax level welcome, but not enough

08 March 2017.  Action on Smoking and Health today welcomed the Chancellor’s decision to introduce a Minimum Excise Tax on cigarettes, based on a price per pack of 20 of £7.35 (equivalent to a tax of £268.63 per 1,000 cigarettes). The Chancellor has also continued the tobacco tax “escalator”, which means a tax rise of […]

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Media briefing: Chancellor Should Act on No Smoking Day

02 March 2017 In her first speech as Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP committed to “fighting against the burning injustice that, if you’re born poor, you will die on average 9 years earlier than others.”  [1] This year, the Budget comes on the same day as national No Smoking Day (Wednesday 8th […]

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Media Briefing: No Smoking Day: Ditch or Switch – Give Yourself a Pay Rise!

28 February 2017 Wednesday 8th March is No Smoking Day. [1] It’s also Budget day and tobacco taxes will rise by at least 2% above inflation. [2] ASH wants smokers in England to use the day as their chance to quit – smokers are being encouraged to ‘Ditch or Switch’. A 10 a day smoker who […]

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Peers call on government to publish Tobacco Control Plan

23 February 2017 A cross party and crossbench group of peers today called on the Government to publish the promised new tobacco control strategy without further delay.  The call followed an oral question by Lord Rennard of Wavertree (Liberal Democrat) who asked what further action the Government planned to take to reduce the incidence of […]

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ASH comment on BabyClear study to reduce smoking in pregnancy

16 February 2017 Research published today by the University of Newcastle shows that the BabyClear programme, implemented in the north east of England to reduce smoking during pregnancy, has been very successful. Fresh NE has supported the introduction of the approach across the region. Pregnant women are almost twice as likely to quit smoking if […]

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Campaign launches to highlight benefits of quitting smoking before surgery

07 February 2017 Surgeons are being urged to encourage patients to improve their survival chances by quitting smoking ahead of surgery. The campaign has been launched by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) with the support of the health charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health). The RCSEd has also written to Secretary […]

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Protestors demand industry pays for damage at Imperial Tobacco AGM

01 February 2017 Today protestors have gathered outside the Imperial Tobacco AGM to demand the tobacco industry pays for the damage it causes. Tobacco causes nearly 80,000 deaths in England each year.[1] The cost of tobacco to society is estimated to be £12.9 billion[2] while new figures show the social care cost alone is £1.4 […]

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Smoking costs local authorities £760 million a year for social care

30 January 2017 Smoking is adding to the social care crisis because at least £1.4 billion a year is spent on social care, needed because of smoking related illness. And the problem is set to get worse because the local authority public health grant which pays for stop smoking services is being cut by central […]

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Fall in smoking is positive but new tobacco control plan needed for trend to continue

14 December 2016. Responding to the Health Survey for England report published today, ASH said that the decline in smoking among adults and children in England since 1998 shows the importance of having a comprehensive tobacco control plan in place.  [1] In 1998, the first tobacco control plan for England – ‘Smoking kills’ – was […]

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ASH comment on Chief Medical Officer’s report

08 December 2016. The decline in smoking among the British population is a great public health success story and has contributed to a significant decline in lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory disorders.  However, as the Chief Medical Officer’s report published today shows, health improvements could be even greater if the ‘Baby-boomer’ generation were given […]

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ASH comment on US Surgeon General’s Report on e-cigarette use among youth

08 December 2016. Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH commented:  “ASH is puzzled by the level of concern being expressed about e-cigarettes by the Surgeon-General. In the US as in the UK, young people are experimenting with e-cigarettes but vaping has not been associated with an increase in smoking, a point which is not made […]

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ASH comment on BTS study showing hospitals’ failure to tackle smoking

07 December 2016.  A report released today by the British Thoracic Society (BTS) shows that most hospitals across the UK are not doing enough to support smokers to stop smoking. Despite the fact that a quarter of patients were recorded as being current smokers, 72% of these patients were not asked if they wanted help […]

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