ASH praises Government strategy on health but the battle to curb smoking continues.

Wednesday 20 November 2002

ASH news release:  For immediate release  Wednesday 20th November 2002 


ASH praises Government strategy on health but the battle to curb smoking continues



ASH has reacted enthusiastically to the Secretary of State for Health’s commitment to put public health, prevention, and health inequalities at the heart of its efforts to modernise the health service in Britain.


Clive Bates, Director of ASH  said:


The Government’s move to modernise health by  putting  public health at its heart is very impressive and taking smoking as a key  part of the strategy recognises that smoking is a central issue.  The commitment looks strong, the idea is new, the delivery is impressive so far.


The extra £15m for hard-hitting campaigns on the reality of smoking to be delivered by major charities is an inspired move and, on top of what the Government already spends, amounts to a major escalation in the war against smoking.


When Government policies mean such a bonanza for drug companies, it makes sense for the government to claw back some of its expenditure.   It is also important to spend this as efficiently as possible and on the ground where it really counts.


Praising the Government’s recent achievements, Clive Bates added:


It is not often that pressure groups can really celebrate but the ban on tobacco advertising, which has just become law today, is a fantastic achievement and will save thousands of lives and stop young people smoking.


The Secretary of State has made it clear that the Government is in for the long haul and that its 10 year plan to rethink health in Britain continues to be work in progress.  We hope  that, fairly soon, the government is going to give attention to fix the problem of passive smoking and smoking in public places because that is where the battle against lung cancer and heart disease, caused by smoking, will go next.”




Contact:  Clive Bates:  020 7739 5902 (office)  or  077 6879 1237 (mobile)