ASH Scotland looks for support from Scottish Government, as smoking rate remains static

ASH Scotland urges Scottish Ministers to "explore new ways" of reducing the damage done by tobacco.
By: Freedom To Choose(Scotland)
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Ash Scotland


Cleveland - England

Sept. 16, 2010 - PRLog -- In a press release from ASH Scotland(1)  on 15 September 2010 Sheila Duffy, chief executive of ASH Scotland, urged Scottish Ministers to "explore new ways" of reducing the damage done by tobacco and warned that smoking was still "comparatively high" in Scotland, with more than a million adults lighting up.

The admission that there are still over a million adults smoking is surprising considering that in 2005/2006 the figure quoted was 1,048,000 (2).

Freedom to Choose (Scotland) Chairman Eddie Douthwaite said, “It is clear that the smoking ban in Scotland (now over four years old), the increase of the smoking age to 18, and relentless government anti-smoking propaganda have had very little effect on reducing the number of smokers.”

“This is not surprising when the failure rate of NRT products is 98.4 percent (3),  the reported serious effects of varenicline resulting in lawsuits in the USA (4),  and smokers are rebelling against the Scottish Government’s “Denormalisation” programme (5).

“The amount of Scottish Government funding of Tobacco Control over the last four years (at least £53.2 m (6) ) would seem to have brought little success. This funding (which includes money allocated to local authorities, not ASH Scotland funding) cannot be sustained in the current economic climate.

“This call by ASH Scotland would seem to be more of a plea for continued funding by the Scottish Government in light of forecast cuts in government expenditure.”

The main purpose of the smoking ban was held to be protecting the health of non-smokers and it was expected that the ban “in Glasgow alone, would save 1,000 lives each year (7)”.  But there is no sign of any such drop in the death rate. Reports that heart attacks in Scotland dropped 17 per cent (8) following the smoking ban have been somewhat muted since a University of Bath study found a drop heart attacks in England to be only 2.4 per cent (9).  Neither figure was supported by routine statistics.

(1) ASH Scotland press release; One in four Scots still smoking, says Ash report; More action needed over smoking

(2) Tobacco smoking in Scotland: an epidemiology briefing

(3) New study demonstrates how conflicts of interest with Big Pharma influence reporting of the effectiveness of smoking cessation drug treatment

(4) Chantix lawsuits

(5) Launch of Smoking Prevention Action Plan, 2008

(6) Scottish budget spending review 2007


(8) heart attacks drop by 17 per cent as smoking is banned

(9)   Smokefree legislation linked to drop in admissions for heart attack

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