ASH Scotland, the national charity tackling smoking and health, has won a major international award on World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2018) for its work improving Scotland’s health.

The World No Tobacco Day Award is given by the World Health Organization to a select few groups each year. ASH Scotland has received it following decades of work advocating a Scotland free of the harm and inequality caused by smoking. Other winners in 2018 include the British Heart Foundation.

Morris Fraser, the Scottish Government’s tobacco policy lead, presented the award to ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy and ASH Scotland staff on Edinburgh’s Castle Street which you can see pictured.

In honouring ASH Scotland, the World Health Organization had this to say:

“ASH Scotland has shown strong leadership in persuading the Scottish Government to announce an end-game target of a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034, one of only a few nations to have done so.

“ASH Scotland was instrumental in persuading the Scottish government to announce in 2013 that it would implement plain packaging for tobacco products, successfully lobbied for Scotland’s national target to halve the number of children exposed to tobacco smoke in the home by 2020 […] and successfully advocated for a bill outlawing smoking in a vehicle with a child present.”

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, congratulated the British Heart Foundation and other award winners and said:

“I’m honoured and delighted that ASH Scotland has received the World Health Organisation’s 2018 World No Tobacco Day Award, the highest award given by WHO in this field. It recognises the leadership and work of our organisation over many years and Scotland’s strong ongoing commitments to reducing the harms of smoking.

“There is still much to do to reduce the heartbreak that cigarettes cause in people’s lives, and we will continue to work hard with all those in Scotland who want to make smoking history.”