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Statement from ASH Executive Director Laurent Huber on a Tobacco-Free World

imagine-a-worldThat’s our vision at ASH, a tobacco-free world. This year marks ASH’s 50th anniversary, and we are as committed as ever to end the tobacco epidemic.

With your help, we can achieve this vision. Here’s how we’ll do it:

• Hold the tobacco industry, including corporate executives, accountable for the death and disease they cause;

• Change the way the world thinks and works so that everyone – governments, businesses and the public, work toward the same goal; and

• Work to end the commercial sale of tobacco.

ASH started in 1967 by fighting tobacco advertisements on radio and television. In the 1970s, we began working on smoke-free air ordinances to protect you from secondhand smoke. In the 80s, we got smoking banned on airplanes. And in 2000, we started working at the global level to help write and negotiate the world’s 1st public health treaty, which shows great promise in finally ending tobacco addiction and death. More recently, in 2015, ASH was responsible for getting a tobacco-related target included in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, meaning every country must now work to reduce tobacco consumption.

Whether you’ve been with ASH since 1967, 2007, or just joined us this year, your donations and support have contributed to building this powerful and groundbreaking legacy of health for all.

tclip-criminalASH strives to be a catalyst for new ideas to end tobacco use. As we head into our 50th year of fighting Big Tobacco, we continue to work at the cutting edge, recognizing that the tobacco epidemic knows no country, state, or city boundaries.

We thrive on innovative ideas and projects that will bring about the end of tobacco. Our one-of-a-kind tobacco criminal liability project seeks to hold tobacco executives criminally responsible for the deaths they cause. ASH continues to use our international knowledge and connections to illustrate what can be done in the U.S. using best practices and global tools. These and our other projects are unique and designed with the goal of not just controlling, but eliminating, tobacco.

hearingWe’ve seen successes with these innovative approaches. This year, ASH and our allies were invited to speak at the first-ever hearing on tobacco in front of an international human rights body (photograph on the left). The honor to present before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was an acknowledgment that our position of tobacco as a human rights issue is being taken seriously by the international legal community. And, ASH’s trade program helped to achieve a tobacco carve-out in the giant Trans-Pacific Partnership.

But we can’t do this essential, life-saving work alone. We depend on help from people like you.

And despite these successes, there is still a lot of work remaining, as 6 million people still die every year because of tobacco. In 2017, as we celebrate our 50th year of service, we will develop and implement new programs.

Together, we can eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. With your donation, we can unite to build a tobacco-free world.

While in 2017 ASH marks its 50th year of service, we are determined to avoid making it to 100. With your help, we can make ASH obsolete by making tobacco vanish.

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