ASH faces legal threat from the tobacco indutry

Tuesday 30 July 1996
ASH/ Press releases/

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Press Release

30th July 1996

Action on Smoking
and Health

ASH faces legal threat bytobacco industry

ASH, the Campaign for Freedom from Tobacco, wastoday threatened with legal action by Imperial Tobacco Ltd. The move comes after ASH,which recently repositioned itself as an adversary of the tobacco industry, distributed aspoof card showing a new cigarette “brand” called Emphysema to members andsupporters of the campaign.

The new “brand” was shown with anoffer of “free lung cancer with every packet” mirroring the style of promotionused extensively by the tobacco manufacturers.

Pamela Furness, chief executive of ASH, said:”We are not surprised that the tobacco industry feels threatened. For decades it hasdenied that its product is harmful and addictive. It has been allowed to promote itsdeadly product freely, without penalty. Indeed, complaints by the public about advertisingare more often than not ignored.

“ASH is concerned about the rising numberof young people smoking. We believe advertising is recruiting our children to a life ofaddiction and ill health. ASH is simply attacking the industry by applying its ownmethods.”

Confirming that the card had not beenadvertised widely, Pamela Furness went on to say, “ASH intends to fight the tobaccoindustry in the courts, if necessary. We know that the industry’s tactic is “if youcan’t attack the message, attack the messenger”. ASH appeals to the public, the pressand opinion formers to support ASH in its attempt to highlight the dangers oftobacco”.


Notes for Editors:
ASH is a registered charity and company registered by guarantee. The last published annualturnover of ASH was approximately £600,000. The tobacco industry is reputed to spend£100 million on advertising and promotion each year.

Copies of the card are available on request.

Contact Amanda Sandford (020) 7739 5902

RegisteredCharity No 262067
Action on Smoking and Health is a company limited by guarantee.  Registered inEngland No 998971.  Registered address as above