Annual Report 2015/16

Date: 13th December 2016
Category: Health and health services

ASH Scotland's vision is of a healthier Scotland, free from the harm and inequality caused by tobacco. In this annual report, ASH Scotland discuss its actions and achievements up to March 2016.

At national level, ASH Scotland have been working to address poverty by engaging with financial support services so that quitting smoking is supported as a way of addressing poverty and debt. They produced a detailed evidence review on the links between mental health and smoking, and have been working with community mental health services to spotlight and challenge the physical damage that high levels of smoking cause.

Children and young people

Smoking is presented as a free adult choice, but is more commonly an unwilling addiction begun in childhood. Two thirds of smokers start as children and 36 young people in Scotland every day take this step with huge implications for their health, wealth and future.

ASH Scotland have worked with a number of youth organisations and colleges to develop effective health-promoting tobacco policies, and with LAACYP (Looked After and Accommodated Children and Young People's) services and national organisations to promote best-practice tobacco policies and encourage reflective implementation. Last year they were actively involved with supporting two pieces of legislation in the Scottish Parliament - an Act to ban smoking in vehicles with children under 18 present, and Scottish Government health legislation which will regulate e-cigarettes, and create smoke-free perimeters around hospital buildings.

In the coming year, ASH Scotland will continue to challenge the underhand tactics of tobacco companies and work to reduce tobacco smoke exposure, especially in children.