On 31st May 2017, World Smokefree Day, ASH relaunched as Action for Smokefree 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.
We were sad to end this relationship, but it has also created an opportunity for ASH to get back to basics and focus on campaigning for the political leadership to achieve Smokefree 2025.
Smokefree 2025 is only 8 years away, and New Zealand is running out of time. The goal is to get smoking rates below 5% by 2025, however at the current rate of decline it will take until 2040.
It’s an exciting chance for ASH to get back to basics and build a social movement for change. Without government funding ASH can campaign for the political leadership needed, and do so as an independent and objective campaign organisation. Our focus will be on building the political consensus to achieve Smokefree 2025.
Over the next few weeks we will be building our campaigns and inviting our members and supporters to join the movement for Smokefree 2025. Action for Smokefree 2025 is back to basics as a grass roots campaign organisation, and we need your support to achieve the goal.
ASH is also committed to supporting our partner organisations. In 2016 the Ministry of Health changed how they fund advocacy, and after a competitive process the new national Tobacco Advocacy Service was awarded to Hapai te Hauora Tapui. ASH has a long history of partnership with Hapai, and we are delighted to continue this.
Our newly found independence gives ASH a unique voice that can stand alongside our smokefree colleagues in calling for the urgent action to achieve Smokefree 2025.