Press Releases



Smoking rates at a record low: but not for poorer or pregnant smokers  

3rd July 2018 Smoking rates at a record low: but not for poorer or pregnant smokers Overall smoking rates for 2017 have just been published for England, and are at all-time low of 14.9%, down from 19.3% just five years ago [1]. This brings the estimated number of smokers in England in 2017 to 6.1 […]

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True cost of smoking revealed in advance of World No Tobacco Day

30 May 2018 New data published for World No Tobacco Day 31st May, by Action on Smoking Health shows that smoking costs communities in England £12.6 billion a year [1]. The figures show the additional pressure that smoking is putting on the NHS and social care services including annual costs of £2.5 billion to the […]

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Commons Committee warned that smoking on TV and in films is encouraging child take-up

15 April 2018 In a strongly worded submission to the Select Committee on Science and Technology ASH and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol studies warn that smoking on TV and in films encourages children to take up smoking [1]. They point out that children in the UK are still exposed to significant amounts […]

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Health charity welcomes new stop smoking guidance but lack of services raises concerns

28 March 2018 Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) welcomes new guidance published today (Wednesday 28th March) by NICE [1] on how to best support smokers to quit. It also welcomes the clear recommendations from NICE to health professionals about the advice smokers should be given on e-cigarettes. However, the charity is deeply concerned that […]

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ASH presents new data on e-cigarettes to Science and Technology Select Committee

Tuesday 27th March Action on Smoking and Health today appeared before Parliament’s Science and Technology Select Committee to provide evidence for the Committee’s inquiry into e-cigarettes. New data from the charity, published today, was presented to the committee providing the most recent figures on the level of use and attitudes towards e-cigarettes. The latest figures […]

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ASH welcomes Cancer Research UK research on avoidable cancer

Cancer Research UK has today published a new study which estimates that more than 135,000 cases of cancer in the UK could be prevented every year. 54,000 cancer cases a year are due to smoking, which causes over twice as many cancers as the next biggest preventable risk factor, obesity. [1] ASH welcomes this new […]

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ASH welcomes new Public Health England Report on E-Cigarettes   

6 February 2018 Action on Smoking and Health has strongly welcomed a new report on e-cigarettes, produced by independent experts for Public Health England. [1] The report updates the evidence on e-cigarette use among adults and young people; their effectiveness as an aid to quitting by smokers; the risks to health compared to smoking and […]

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Cuts in public health grant leads to decline in support for smokers

15 January 2018 A report by Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health [1] showing that cuts to the public health budget nationally have led to dramatic changes in services for smokers. Only 61% of local authorities continue to offer all local smokers access to evidence-based support in line with NICE guidance. Local […]

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ASH response to study showing three out of five people who try a cigarette become daily smokers

10 January 2018 A study by Professor Peter Hajek from Queen Mary University of London was published today which showed that three in five people who try a cigarette become daily smokers. [1] Responding to the study Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of public health charity Action on Smoking and Health, said: “This research highlights the […]

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ASH welcomes Budget commitments in support of a smokefree generation

Wednesday 22 November There was good news for public health in today’s Budget announcement as the Chancellor renewed the tobacco tax “escalator” for the remainder of this parliament. Duty rates on all tobacco products will increase by 2% above (RPI) inflation and on hand rolling tobacco by 3% above (RPI) at 6pm today. The Minimum […]

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Smoking among schoolchildren at record low, new government figures show

2 November 2017 New data published by NHS Digital today show that smoking among 15 year olds has reached the lowest level on record at 7%. [1] The figures demonstrate that England continues to make good progress towards the government’s ambition of a smokefree generation. As outlined in the Tobacco Control Plan for England, the […]

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Tobacco Tax Gaps: Illicit cigarettes a growing proportion of a declining market – enforcement funding cuts must be addressed

26 October 2017 Official estimates released today by HM Revenue & Customs show that while the size of the illicit market for cigarettes in 2016/17 has remained fairly stable since 2010, as smoking prevalence has declined significantly, it has become a higher proportion of the total market. More promisingly the amount and proportion of the […]

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Action on Smoking and Health welcomes inquiry into electronic cigarettes

25 October 2017 The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has today (25 October) announced an inquiry into electronic cigarettes. Public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) welcomed the news. ASH Chief Executive Deborah Arnott said: “ASH is pleased that the Committee has launched this timely inquiry, and we look forward to […]

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In advance of the Budget, Treasury urged to do more to support the Government ambition for a “smokefree generation”

24 October 2017 The Government received a timely reminder of the importance of effective taxation and regulation of tobacco products from public health experts in a meeting yesterday with the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. The meeting was ahead of the Budget on November 22nd. Representatives from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the UK […]

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New study shows extent of cuts to local services to help smokers quit, even where there is political support for these services

20 October 2017 In 2016 budgets were cut in all local authority areas where smoking cessation was a low priority. In local authorities where the priority was high 40% made cuts to these life-saving services. The study is based on online surveys of local tobacco control leads in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The surveys found […]

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