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Press Releases



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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Media Advisory: Smokefree Private Vehicles Regulations

02 December 2016 From Monday 5th December 2016 a new law takes effect in Scotland which will make it an offence to smoke in a car when a child is present. The Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Act brings Scotland in line with the law in England and Wales which took effect on […]

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Tobacco industry appeal against standard packs law rejected

30 November 2016. The Appeal Court has today handed down a ruling rejecting the tobacco industry’s appeal against the law requiring standardised packaging of cigarettes and hand-rolled tobacco. [1] The tobacco companies’ initial challenge to the legislation was defeated in the High Court in May 2016 but 3 of the 4 international companies (BAT, JTI […]

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ASH reaction to new Philip Morris IQOS ‘heat not burn’ product

30 November 2016.  Tobacco company Philip Morris has today launched IQOS, a potentially ‘reduced risk’ tobacco product in the UK.  The device uses compressed tobacco in a ‘mini-cigarette’ form in a vapouriser.  Unlike electronic cigarettes which vapourise nicotine suspended in a liquid, the IQOS heats and vapourises tobacco. Globally, smoking killed 100 million people in […]

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Minimum Excise Tax on tobacco will provide a significant boost to health

23 November 2016. ASH has welcomed the Government’s commitment to publish draft legislation on a Minimum Excise Tax (MET) on cigarettes and to require the licensing of tobacco manufacturing equipment. The licensing plans were announced in today’s Autumn Statement while the commitment to draft legislation on the MET was made in response to a parliamentary […]

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More than 100 countries now require graphic picture warnings on cigarette packs – UK goes further by requiring plain standardised packaging

10 November 2016.  An international report released today by the Canadian Cancer Society shows that 105 countries and territories require picture health warnings on cigarette packages. This significant milestone in global public health will reduce smoking and save lives. The UK is ranked 14th for its warning size of 65% of the front and back […]

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High rates of smoking among people with serious mental health conditions

01 November 2016.  News Release issued on behalf of the Smoking and Mental Health Partnership From today for the first time, local authorities across England will be able to see the shockingly high rates of smoking among people with serious mental illness compared to the general population in their areas.  In some parts of the country […]

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New research by ASH finds use of electronic cigarettes remains low among young people

31 October 2016.  ASH has released new data today which finds no evidence that children are being recruited to smoking through their use of electronic cigarettes. [1] The ASH survey found that more young people are now aware of, and have tried e-cigarettes but regular use is still rare and confined largely to those who […]

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Tobacco Tax Gaps: More action needed to combat illicit tobacco

20 October 2016.  Official figures released today show a small rise in the illicit market share of manufactured cigarettes while there was a fall in the proportion of illicit hand-rolled tobacco. [1] According to HM Revenue & Customs, in 2015/16 an estimated 13% of cigarettes consumed in the UK were illicit, compared to 12% in […]

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ASH research shows corner shops don’t need tobacco to be profitable

18 October 2016.  Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has demolished the tobacco industry argument that local newsagents need tobacco sales to keep them afloat. New research commissioned by ASH shows that corner shops make on average profit of only £242 a week on tobacco products compared to £2,611 from everything else they sell, that’s […]

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Legislation preventing smoking in cars with children popular and effective

30 September 2016.  One year after the ban on smoking in cars when children are present came into effect the legislation is working well. The ASH Smokefree GB survey shows that 86% of children report no exposure to smoking in cars compared to 83% last year. [1] Support for the law, including among smokers, has […]

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Stoptober: ASH calls for more mass media campaigns to help smokers to quit

20 September 2016 In advance of the annual Stoptober stop smoking campaign, ASH is calling on the Government to increase the frequency and the amount of money spent on stop smoking campaigns. Deborah Arnott Chief Executive of ASH said, “ASH strongly supports Stoptober which provides the support and encouragement that we know most smokers need to […]

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Calls for work in North East to cut smoking in pregnancy to be rolled out nationwide

16 September 2016.  News Release on behalf of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group  Work in the North East to cut smoking in pregnancy by nearly 1/3 has been hailed as an example for the rest of England to follow by a coalition of national health and baby charities. Francine Bates, Chief Executive of the […]

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Stop Smoking Services still successful but need to do better if NHS shortfall is to be plugged

18 August 2016. Figures published today show a further significant 15% decline in the number of smokers seeking help to quit from the Stop Smoking Services in England.  The services are as effective as ever, increasing smokers’ chances to quit by up to fourfold over cold turkey but they are reaching fewer smokers. Of particular […]

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Impact of the Spending Review on health and social care: ASH comment

19 July 2016.   A new report published by the House of Commons Health Committee on the Impact of the Spending Review on Health and Social Care has recognised that “cuts to public health budgets set out in the Spending Review threaten to undermine the necessary upgrade to prevention and public health set out in […]

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