Beginning in 2017, ASH is no longer a “tobacco control” organization. Tobacco “control” is not enough. The only acceptable number of tobacco related deaths is ZERO.

That’s why we are working to set the sun on big tobacco. Our Project Sunset turns Philip Morris USA’s own Project Sunrise, initiated in 1995, around on its head. Project Sunrise was a scheme to renormalize smoking; we will instead phase out the sale of cigarettes.

The percentage of the U.S. population that smokes is lower than it has been in over a century. And the vast majority of smokers wish they could break the addiction. Virtually none want their children to smoke. People have had enough of tobacco – the lingering disease and death of loved ones and the staggering cost to all of us. We need to overcome the influence of the tobacco industry and finally rid society of the commercial sale of tobacco products that sicken and kill those who consume it.

There are many possible ways to bring about an end to smoking. While we encourage any step towards limiting the harms caused by tobacco, we believe that the current regulation of cigarette sales is not adequate given the harm this product causes.  It is time to have a response to cigarette sales that is proportionate to the harm they cause. If we want to prevent the unnecessary deaths caused by cigarettes, it is time to reconsider the way tobacco is sold as a readily available consumer good. Our society needs to put an end to the commercial sale of cigarettes that kill millions every year.

This is not about punishing smokers, and it is not creating a new “war on drugs.” We need to focus on the behavior of the tobacco industry, which has received special treatment for decades – no other industry can sell a consumer product that kills when used as intended. We won’t accept a ban on use or possession. Smokers are the victims of the tobacco epidemic, not the perpetrators. Governments that ban tobacco sales need to ensure smokers have access to cessation treatment.

ASH is changing the conversation about cigarettes.

ASH acts as a catalyst to end the tobacco epidemic in the U.S. and around the world. We believe that the time has come to end the commercial sale of tobacco.

Beverly Hills, CA is at the forefront of this movement. They are the 1st U.S. city to ban the sale of tobacco products. Read our statement here. And read why Beverly Hills took such progressive action.

National Steering Committee*
Doug Blanke, Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law
John Bloom, Consultant
Chris Bostic, Action on Smoking and Health
Lauren Czaplicki, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dick Daynard, Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University
Stacey Gagosian, Truth Initiative
Laurent Huber, Action on Smoking and Health
Dr. Andrew Hyland, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Jackie Kaslow
, Native Star Foundation
Joelle Lester, Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Ruth Malone, University of California – San Francisco
Dr. Tim McAfee, Former Director, CDC Office on Smoking and Health
Carol McGruder
, African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council
April Roeseler, California Department of Public Health
David Willoughby, Clearway Minnesota

*Steering committee members serve in their individual capacities.

Contact us to learn more about how to begin implementing one of these policies in your local community: 

Why this is NOT prohibition

Ending the commercial sale of combustible tobacco products is not the same as prohibition. It is analogous to the way jurisdictions are looking at cannabis “legalization” or “de- criminalization”.  Like in jurisdictions that have decriminalized cannabis, no one will be arrested for carrying or using cigarettes (within legally prescribed limits) and police officers will not search individuals, cars, or homes on the suspicion of cigarette possession. The public would be free to grow their own tobacco, give it as gifts, and even bring it in from other places.

In jurisdictions that have or are considering “legalizing” cannabis, no one is in favor of selling cannabis as a typical consumer good or making it available in convenience stores, gas stations, and the typical retail environment.  Ending the commercial sales of cigarettes is not meant to make tobacco illegal, it is merely a rational response to the damage caused by the current extensive availability of cigarettes.

There is No Legal “Right” to Smoke

Read the explanation here>

The Focus is Cigarettes

Our focus is to phase out the sale of highly-engineered cigarettes. We oppose criminalizing their possession or use, always bringing the focus back to the tobacco industry and their marketing, mass distribution, and sale of a deadly product.

Tobacco plants themselves have additional uses currently being explored, such as vaccines (providing an outlet for tobacco farmers who don’t switch to a more profitable crop). Read more here.

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