New ASH website offers hard facts on tobacco & ‘rude awakening’ on smoking



Thursday 01 October 1998

Press releaseEmbargo 00:01 8th October 1998 ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

ASH today releases a new interactive web-based feature, Tobacco Explored and a substantial update to its website.

Tobacco Explored is an interactive exploration of cynicism: a journey into the modus operandi of the tobacco industry. By looking at how the tobacco industry works, ASH invites the user to rethink and redefine smoking. No longer will smoking be naively seen as the free choice of well-informed adults. Using extracts from the companies’ own secret documents, an alternative explanation emerges: the tobacco industry needs to recruit over 300 teenagers per day to replace dead smokers, after the glamour phase of early smoking, nicotine addiction becomes the driving force and people find it hard to stop – often spending over £1,000 per year. The user explores these ideas through games, graphics, links and calculations.

“The tobacco industry emerges as ruthless, deceitful and predatory.” said Clive Bates of ASH, “so many young people think that smoking is about independence, glamour and rebellion when what’s really happening is manipulation and addiction. We want them to find that out by visiting this site. We’re not preaching or laying down the law, we’re just saying come and look, then make up your own mind who’s benefiting and who’s the loser. For some, it will be a rude awakening, but that may be what it takes – kids may not care about their health, but no-one likes to be ripped off or taken for a ride.”

The whole ASH site has also been overhauled and is a mine of information on tobacco, including:

  • 23 fact sheets on the demographics, health impacts, economics, and politics of tobacco
  • numerous reports on subjects including, civil liberties, supermodels, taxation, secret tobacco industry documents and many other aspects of smoking;
  • press releases giving the ASH interpretation of events as they unfold,
  • contacts and links,
  • a series of up-to-date guides to what is going on in tobacco policy.

“If you want to know the facts about tobacco, we have the site and we are going totake it a lot further. Everything we do will go onto the web” said Clive Bates, Director of ASH. “for ASH, the web is the best way to communicate in depth with amass audience. The great beauty is that the user dictates the pace and the information they take – we have people that come looking for information on lung cancer, but leave having explored passive smoking, advertising and tobacco taxation.”

ASH http://www.ash.org.uk works in partnership with CPG http://www.healthnet.org.uk/ which rebuilt the ASH site and the web company Knowhaus http://www.knowhaus.com which implemented the Tobacco Explored feature.

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ENDS

 

Contact Clive Bates, Director 0171 224 0743 or 0181 800 1336 (hm), 0468 791237 (mbl best on Sun.)
Amanda Sandford, Communications Director 0171 224 0743 or 0181 257 3501 (hm)

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