40 years of ASH
In 1973 the Scottish Committee of Action on Smoking and Health was established by the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.
ASH Scotland as it became known campaigned to limit the influence of the tobacco industry through advertising and sponsorship and to provide advice to smokers who wanted to quit.
In the 70’s smoking was the norm. You were just as likely to witness someone smoking inside a hospital as outside the hospital as we do now.
I can confirm on the top deck of the 7.20am busy bus from Branchton to Charing Cross your eyes were absolutely nipping as the shipyard workers enjoyed their first fag of the day.
Much has changed since then and ASH Scotland was at the forefront of the campaign which saw a raft of tobacco controls introduced.
Scotland led the way by introducing smoke free public places in 2006 and my amendment to that legislation resulted in the minimum age of the sale of tobacco rise from 16 to 18.
This measure, as well as the increase in the price of tobacco, has resulted in the number of smokers in Scotland being reduced by 50%.
Whatever your view on this issue there can be no doubt that ASH have played their part in clearing the air in Scotland helping to make us a healthier country.