Fact Sheets



ASH produces Fact Sheets on a range of topics; these are updated regularly and organised under the following categories:

Health

Tobacco causes health problems across all ethnicities, but the way people from different ethnic backgrounds use tobacco varies considerably. Some ethnic minorities are substantially more likely to use smokeless tobacco and shisha pipes. August 2019.

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Smoking is ranked third among 9 modifiable risk factors for dementia and is linked to an estimated 14% of cases of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. July 2019.

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Smoking causes 16 different types of cancer and is the single biggest avoidable risk factor. July 2017.

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Higher smoking rates remain the single largest cause of the estimated 10-20 year reduced life expectancy for people with mental health conditions. August 2019.

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Cigarette smoking can affect fertility in both women and men, sexual function in men, pregnant women’s health, the health of an unborn child, and the health of young children.  December 2016.

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Exposure to tobacco smoke via both active and passive smoking has been shown to increase the risk of developing meningococcal disease.  July 2016. 

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A comprehensive look at why and how nicotine is so addictive.  March 2018. 

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There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that smoking is an independent risk factor for diabetes and that among people with diabetes, smoking aggravates the risk of serious disease and premature death.  July 2015.

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Smoking is the most important factor in the development of respiratory diseases. In England one-third of deaths from respiratory disorders are attributable to cigarette consumption. April 2015.

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The health benefits of stopping smoking start within hours of putting out the last cigarette. Using a combination of medication and behavioural support can substantially increase the chances of successfully quitting. Sept 2014.

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ASH’s top tips to help you stop smoking. Sept 2014. 

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Tobacco smoking seriously affects internal organs, particularly the heart and lungs, but it also affects a person’s appearance by altering the skin, body weight and shape. Sept. 2018.

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Smoking can worsen several eye disorders, particularly cataracts and age related macular degeneration (AMD), and may lead to blindness. May 2014.

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Breathing other people’s smoke is called passive, involuntary or secondhand smoking. Health impacts range from eye irritation, headache, cough and sore throat, to heart disease and lung cancer. Feb 2014.

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Cardiovascular disease refers to disorders of the heart and circulatory system. Smoking causes around 25,000 deaths from heart and circulatory disease in the UK each year. Oct. 2016.

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Economics & Regulation

Around 1.1 billion people aged 15 and over smoke, with 80% living in LMICs (low and middle income countries). Tobacco growing and consumption have become concentrated in the developing world where the health, economic, and environmental burden is heaviest and likely to increase. July 2019.

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The costs of smoking to the economy include the expense of treating diseases caused by smoking as well as reduced productivity and environmental costs. March 2017.

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British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco, the world’s second and fourth largest tobacco companies (excluding the Chinese state tobacco monopoly) are based in the UK. Jan 2017.

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Levels of secondhand smoke in cars can be extremely high due to the restricted space in which the smoke is circulated. August 2018.

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This fact sheet summarises tobacco control policy formulated by the European Union. August. 2016.

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From growing the tobacco plant to the disposal of butts and packaging, the whole life cycle of a cigarette takes a heavy toll on the environment. Sept 2015.

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While most forms of tobacco advertising and promotion in the UK are banned, the tobacco industry has continued to promote its products through packaging and “below the line” marketing. Feb 2019.

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This fact sheet provides an overview of the smokefree law together with related information including surveys showing levels of support for smokefree measures. April 2015.

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Making the home totally smokefree is the only reliable way of reducing exposure to secondhand smoke as partial restrictions are not effective. April 2015.

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Cigarettes look deceptively simple but in fact they are highly engineered products, designed to deliver a steady dose of nicotine to the smoker. September 2018.

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llicit tobacco reduces the public health impact of tobacco tax rises and increases demand for tobacco products. March 2017.

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Statistics

This fact sheet provides a detailed analysis of adult attitudes and behaviour with respect to e-cigarettes and how they have changed over time. The data are taken from an annual survey, Smokefree GB, carried out for ASH by YouGov. The survey first started asking about e-cigarette use in 2010 and this update includes the results of the  survey carried out in Spring 2019.

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This fact sheet examines evolving youth use of e-cigarettes in Great Britain in the context of changes in the regulation of e-cigarettes, and use of tobacco among adults and children. June 2019.

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Since the late 1990s smoking among 11-15 year olds has been steadily falling after two decades of little change. Children are more likely to smoke if their parents smoke and parental attitude to smoking is also an important factor. September 2019.

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This fact sheet includes statistics on tobacco consumption and smoking related illness and death. Nov 2018.

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This fact sheet covers some of the main statistics you need to know about smoking, with a focus on the UK and in particular: England. Sept 2018.

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