What is ASH?
ASH – Action for Smokefree 2025 is an incorporated society that has been campaigning since 1983 to achieve our vision to eliminate the death and harm caused by tobacco.
When ASH was funded by a group of concerned medical professionals in the 80s, a third of adults smoked. Ongoing pressure from groups like ASH mean that 35 years later, 14% of adults smoke daily, and New Zealand has some of the most comprehensive tobacco control policies in the world. This includes a government goal to be Smokefree by 2025.
The organisation has undergone a lot changes in the last year. Most significant was the end of our funding relationship with the Ministry of Health after nearly 20 years. It has been a long and productive relationship resulting in some huge milestones for smokefree New Zealand, including smokefree workplaces, tobacco tax increases, advertising bans, treatment funding and groundbreaking research into smoking in New Zealand.
This change has allowed ASH to get back to basics as a leading independent campaign voice for high quality tobacco control measures.
Who funds ASH?
ASH is independently funded by our members, donations, and grant funding.
ASH does not take funds from tobacco, pharmaceutical, nicotine or vaping industries.
What is ASH’s priority?
Our urgent and immediate priority is on reaching the Smokefree 2025 goal where less than 5% of all New Zealanders smoke.
How does ASH operate?
As an independent campaign organisation, ASH is focusing on the political leadership needed to achieve its goal.
Through supporting policy makers to take urgent and evidence-based action, we believe ASH’s vision could be reality within a generation. ASH also works with our members and supporters to build a social movement for Smokefree 2025.
ASH NZ is led by a dedicated board:
Chair: Emeritus Professor Robert Beaglehole, independent global public health practitioner.
- Mihi Blair, General Manager of the National Tobacco Control Advisory Service at Hāpai Te Hauora.
- Dr Stephen Child, General physician with respiratory interest, elected to the Medical Council of New Zealand and past Chair of the NZ Medical Association.
- Dr Gerry Devlin, Cardiologist and Medical Director of the Heart Foundation.
- Sefita Hao’uli, retired journalist and broadcaster.
- Rebecca Ruwhiu-Collins, Māori Hauora expert in treatment, national training for tobacco addiction and community mobilisation and development at Hāpai Te Hauora.
- Dr Grace Wong, Director, Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa/New Zealand
Our Director is former lawyer, Human Rights Review Tribunal Panel member, Deborah Hart.