Report on 50 Years


Contact: Megan Arendt

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A Future with ZERO Tobacco Deaths

ASH Releases Report on 50 Years of Fighting

Click to read the report

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 26, 2017 – To commemorate 50 years since its formation, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) released a brief report, Action on Smoking and Health: 50 Years Turning the Tide in the Tobacco War, 1967 – 2017, demonstrating the impact of five decades confronting the tobacco epidemic and laying out a vision forward.

Read the report here

Learn more about getting involved here.

“ASH was born in a spirit of defiance.  Defiance in the face of a deeply entrenched and growing epidemic of disease caused by tobacco.  And defiance in the face of a powerful multi-national industry fostering that epidemic,” said ASH Board Chair Dr. Alfred Munzer who has been a longtime ASH supporter.

When ASH was first established in 1967, cigarettes and their accompanying smoke were part of the backdrop of daily life. Few to no regulations were in place in the United States or around the world to protect the public from the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry or from exposure to tobacco smoke. As a result, close to half of the population smoked, and the other half was forced to inhale tobacco smoke against their will at work, at home, in public places, and when traveling.

Headlines featured in the report. Click to expand.

Turning the Tide highlights ASH achievements, such as restricting and then banning smoking on domestic and then international flights. When ASH began that campaign in the early 1980s, it was considered unreasonable if not impossible to expect a smoker to abstain from smoking for the complete duration of a flight. But ASH fought to protect public health, a fight that continues today.

As a result of numerous anti-tobacco achievements, many assume the tobacco problem has been solved: out of sight, out of mind. While public health gains have been made, unfortunately the fight for health over big tobacco is far from over.

Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and around the world.

“Given all we know about cigarettes, one cannot help but wonder why such a lethal product can be so easily purchased almost everywhere in the world in the 21st century. Is it appropriate for large multinational corporations to continue to profit while pushing an inherently defective product on the global market? How will we be judged by future generations if cigarettes are still pervasive by the end of the century?” asks ASH Executive Director Laurent Huber in the report.

Today, ASH leaves the “tobacco control” field. Simply controlling tobacco has not done enough to counteract the death toll. ASH will now work to put an end to the tobacco epidemic. No amount of death and disease from an unnecessary consumer product is acceptable. ASH will push for a future where no one dies because of the tobacco industry, by reconsidering an essential question that should have been answered in the 1960s: should a product that kills when used as intended be sold as a consumer good that is available everywhere?


WHAT:                  ASH 50th Anniversary Event and Report Launch


Keynote Address:

  • Sharon Eubanks, Former Department of Justice attorney who lead the RICO lawsuit


  • Deputy Chief of Mission Ricardo Baluga, Embassy of Uruguay
  • Alfred Munzer, Chair of ASH Trustees, Former President of the American Lung Association
  • Laurent Huber, Executive Director of ASH

WHEN:               Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 5:30pm


Embassy of Uruguay

1913 Eye St, NW

Washington, DC 20006


Founded in 1967, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is America’s oldest anti-tobacco organization, dedicated to a world with ZERO tobacco deaths. Because tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, ASH supports bold solutions proportionate to the magnitude of the problem.