ASH welcomes legal action against the tobacco industry

Friday 27 September 1996
ASH/ Press releases/

102 CliftonStreet, London EC2A 4HW Tel: (020) 7739 5902 Fax: (020) 7613 0531

Press Release

27th September 1996

Action on Smoking
and Health


ASH welcomes the decision by lawyers and theforty lung cancer victims to sue the tobacco industry for damages to their health causedby smoking. ASH believes that the tobacco industry had a duty of care to its consumers, tominimise the harm caused by its products. The tobacco companies should have takenvoluntary steps to reduce tar levels in cigarettes when they first discovered that theproduct was cancer causing and addictive.

Karen Williams of ASH said: “This is greatnews, ASH wholeheartedly supports the action taken by Leigh Day & Co. and theirclients in their fight for justice. These people took up smoking when there were no healthwarnings on cigarette packets but at a time when the tobacco companies knew that smokingtheir products was hazardous to health. The tobacco companies had a duty of care to theirconsumers which they chose to ignore. Now is the time for them to pay the price for theirneglect.”

This action is likely to have a major negativeimpact on the value of UK tobacco stock. ASH believes that brokers and investorsanticipating the forthcoming demerger of Imperial Tobacco from Hanson should take carefulnote of this action when considering whether to invest in the tobacco industry. ASH hascampaigned for many years for disinvestment from the tobacco industry on moral grounds.Now there are good financial reasons for not investing in an industry whose future islooking increasingly bleak.


Contact Amanda Sandford (020) 7739 5902

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