Founded in 1967, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is the one of the nation’s oldest anti-tobacco organizations. In our four decades of leadership in the anti-tobacco movement, ASH has helped transform the perception of tobacco by the American public from casual acceptance as normal behavior to non-acceptance with a high level of awareness of the related health concerns and severe restrictions on smoking in every area of life.
ASH PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN THE PASSAGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH LAWS THAT:
- Prohibit cigarette commercials on TV and radio and severely restrict it in other media;
- Ban smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces;
- Protect children from secondhand smoke;
- Restrict the sale of tobacco products through vending machines; and
- Establish lower insurance premiums for nonsmokers.
GLOBAL TOBACCO CRISIS
The tobacco crisis has become global in scope, with the tobacco industry targeting developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. These countries often have little regulation or control of tobacco products and the tobacco industry seeks to reap a new generation of addicts from their young people.
ASH has responded by expanding our work globally. We organize and direct the work of the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), a coalition of over 350 organizations from more than 100 countries. The FCA works for effective tobacco control in vulnerable countries and to limit the influence of the tobacco industry. ASH and FCA were key players in the adoption and ongoing implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s first global public health treaty.
Multinational tobacco companies are among the world’s most profitable corporations and they utilize their increasing wealth to buy influence in a variety of ways:
- Influencing the governments of the countries where they operate;
- Seeking to shape public opinion;
- Attempting to influence the development of international health guidelines; and
- Using international trade agreements to nullify national tobacco control laws.
ASH will continue to develop new, effective ways to leverage our experience, expertise and leadership of the tobacco-free movement to counter the power and influence of the global tobacco industry.
ASH Trade Initiative – The tobacco industry increasingly uses international trade and investment rules to challenge government implementation of strong tobacco control regulation. Recent public statements by tobacco industry executives verify that this is a well thought out strategy to discourage governments from enacting laws to protect their citizens from the disease and death caused by tobacco use. The solution is to achieve recognition that tobacco, as a unique product, should not be treated like other products in international trade. Tobacco is the only consumer product that, when used as intended, kills. Therefore, the corporate rights and trade liberalization envisioned by free trade should not apply to tobacco, and tobacco control measures should be explicitly and entirely protected from challenge under trade rules.
The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco use will claim the lives of one billion people in this century if the present trend remains unchecked. Your support of ASH is a catalyst for the programs and initiatives that can change this deadly course and avert that tragic outcome.
Learn more about our programs:
There is a direct correlation between our actions against tobacco now and lives saved in the future. Please join our movement and TAKE ACTION WITH US by making a donation today >