Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, liver disease and lung disease. In 2020, these diseases were responsible for more than 40,000 deaths in Scotland – that's 62% of all deaths.
Analysis suggests that one in five of these deaths are preventable through public health action. Reducing the consumption of health harming products, like alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy food and drink, is one of the key ways to reduce the number of lives lost to, and affected by, NCDs.
What’s more, the consumption and availability of health harming products are often highest in our most deprived areas. We must ensure that the healthy choice is the easy choice for people in Scotland, regardless of their community.
The Scottish Government tobacco-free generation target of reducing smoking prevalence to 5% by 2034, is already estimated to be 16 years behind target.
Urgent action is needed on tobacco, alcohol, and unhealthy food and drink.
With the commencement of the 2021/22 Parliament, ASH Scotland has come together again with nine other charities to call for urgent action.
They are calling on the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to take meaningful action to reduce the impact of health harming products and to build a healthier Scotland for future generations. This report sets ASH Scotland’s priority areas for action in the first year of this Parliament.