Great News: ASH Australia to close down

H/T Harley for this breaking momentous news:

ASH Australia closure on December 31, 2013

Statement from ASH Chair Dr Matthew Peters, 18/11/13:

The Board of Directors of Action on Smoking and Health Australia (ASH) advise that ASH will be officially ceasing its operations from 31st December 2013. ASH was established in 1994 in an era when its joint funders (today, Cancer Council Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia) had relatively few staff deployed directly in tobacco control. For many years, this has no longer been the case with both organisations giving high priority to the many aspects of tobacco control.

Today, smoking rates in Australian adults and children are at their lowest ever levels, in large part because of the combined efforts of ASH, Cancer Councils, the Heart Foundation and others.

ASH’s invaluable work in advocating for policy reform in tobacco control will continue through Australia’s well connected network of agencies dedicated to driving smoking rates down even further.

The Board thanks ASH’s Chief Executive Officer Anne Jones OAM for her (almost) 20 years of extraordinary service to national and international tobacco control. Anne will continue her international work as a consultant to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). The Board also thanks Stafford Sanders for his 12 years’ service to ASH. Stafford provided countless hours of invaluable advice to journalists and the public, and maintained ASH’s very popular website since its inception.

I hope this isn’t a prelude to the opening of the new Australian Total War on Smokers Complex in the New Year, complete with barbed wire and gas chambers.

It looks like their government funding has been removed. And furthermore removed very abruptly, leaving them a little over a month to close down.

I can’t help but connect this with the Australian decision, that I noted just two days ago, to refuse to pay further climate change contributions, and to repeal its carbon tax. It looks like it may be part of a new determination by the Australian Conservative government to generally defund useless, green, healthist spongers.

If so, more heads are likely to roll, including maybe that of Professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney, who is no doubt also on a fat salary paid for by Australian smokers’ taxes.

They could all be offered useful new jobs, I’m sure.

Live shark bait is one that springs readily to mind.

And with a little bit of luck, now that Australia has shown the way, the UK Conservative government will do the same with ASH UK.

P.S. The South Australian state government to defund antismoking media campaigns:

Last month the State Government confirmed its commitment to an earlier proposal to remove all funding for anti-tobacco media campaigns.

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48 Responses to Great News: ASH Australia to close down

  1. harleyrider1978 says:


    • Anne Jones says:

      ASH Australia was not funded by governments but by cancer and heart charities who raise their own funds from communities. The tobacco industry has lied for decades so time for supporters to tell the truth don’t you think?

      From; Anne Jones former CEO of ASH Australia 1994 to 2013.

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    Hey, Harley! Is this the moment that you and I are allowed to say: “Told you so! ” and sit around looking very pleased with ourselves??! To paraphrase that heroic smoker (and drinker), Winston Churchill: “This is not the end of the beginning, but it is most certainly the beginning of the end.”

    But seriously, I guess this was always on the cards, and one reason why, post-ban, ASH (in loads of countries) have been desperately trying to re-ignite the long-dead fires of anti-smoking hysteria and outrage by making all sorts of convoluted new health claims and demanding “vital” extensions to the ban. I’ve always said that their main function to those in power was as a false “front” to give an artificial impression of support from the general public for the smoking ban, and I’m amazed that they didn’t rumble this themselves a long time ago. if they had, then they could easily have bought themselves a bit more time by not demanding quite such a draconian and all-encompassing ban, thus giving themselves something else to “campaign” for. But now that it’s in, well, they don’t really have a function (and, more importantly, a function which needs to be paid for) any more, do they? No wonder their claims and demands have become ever-more hysterical over the last few years. But it looks as if they’ve only now realised the mistakes they’ve made, and now it’s all too late to undo. Oh, quelle shame!

    And in a way, I guess they’re something of a victim of their own success – with governments and health authorities and local councils all over the western world embracing “anti-smokism” with such enthusiasm, it was always inevitable that they’d end up taking on their own “movers and shakers” (like the NHS Stop Smoking programmes and Smoke-free North-east/west etc), so it seems that ASH have effectively rendered themselves redundant.

    Fingers crossed now for announcements of further closures to the offices of this spiteful, intolerant and self-righteous little organisation in other countries, hopefully including the UK. And good riddance!

  3. Frank Davis says:

    Perhaps it goes to show that when governments pile in rapidly behind fashionable new ideas, they’re likely to pile out equally rapidly when they start to lose their lustre.

    • Stafford Sanders says:

      Just came across this site. As ASH Australia employee until its closure, I should point out: (1) We were an NGO, with no ongoing government funding. (2) Our actions were consistent with strong majority public support shown in many independent polls. (3) My own work involved mostly protecting children (tobacco industry’s prime recruitment target) from smoke exposure and tobacco promotion; and people in workplaces from exposure to a toxic, carcinogenic contaminant. (4) If the anger evident on this site were to be directed instead towards the tobacco industry, it could stop them lying, deceiving and ripping off their consumers and throwing the legal book at anyone who opposes them – and continuing to addict children. Personally I’m proud of the lives we saved, and grateful for the broad community support we enjoyed. Cheers! Stafford Sanders, ASH Australia 2001-13.

  4. They are probably closing down so they don’t get hit with the Intelectual Property Rights case that is heading Australia’s way.

  5. lysistratatheoriginal says:

    Wow!! Got up for a painkiller (it’s 3.50 am in Greece), now celebrating news with small ouzo and just lit a Karelia Blue.
    ‘iamas everyone!

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Never Give up and Never Ever give in……………….

  7. legiron says:

    Yep, it’s all starting to fall apart now.

  8. JJ says:

    I’m just wondering though everybody, that perhaps it might be some time before we see the back-end of ASH UK since they have Big Pharma funding too. I can’t find in their accounts last year how much funding came from that quarter, but their general funding came to £732,349.

    Interestingly though since they think of themselves as being popular with the public, they only received £5,720 in 2012, down around £10,000 from 2011. Jo public just love ’em wouldn’t you say?

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Yes indeed, JJ, it is just one small step and, as you point out, ASH UK’s can still depend on the Big Pharma NRT manufacturers coughing up (‘scuse the pun!) a fair amount of dosh, which of course it’s very much in their interests to continue to do. There again, if ASH is largely a spent force (having been overtaken, as I alluded to in my previous comment) by anti-smokers now working for other organisations and bodies, then it’s possible that even Big Pharma might come to see that all those other anti-smoking minions can achieve just as much as ASH do in terms of pushing NRT, but they (Big Pharma, that is) don’t now need to fund the sales pitch by keeping ASH afloat. All those others are now doing it – effectively, as far as Big Pharma are concerned – for free!

      But as you say, there’s a way to go yet before we get our choice back. But it is, at least, a step in the right direction. And, as Confucius said – every long journey starts out with just one step …

  9. Marvin says:

    Great News!!!

    All we need now is for UKIP to hold the balance of power at the next election and bang goes ASH UK!!!

  10. DICK R says:

    The EU will never allow the’British’ government to withdraw funding from this odious fake charity!

  11. Some other Tom says:

    What a beautiful thing to read!

    Live shark bait… Lovely idea, Frank.

    Having a beer and a smoke to celebrate one domino falling over

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Via Iro Cage Canada

    Cancer council cuts funds for ASH to fight smoking

    19th Nov 2013

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      ACTION on Smoking and Health (ASH) chair Dr Matthew Peters has vowed to continue the fight against tobacco after a funding cut from the Cancer Council forced the high profile activist group to shut down after two decades.

      ASH said it would cease operations on 31 December after it failed to find funding following the Cancer Council’s decision to withdraw support. It had also relied on funding from the National Heart Foundation.

      Dr Peters, head of thoracic medicine at Sydney’s Concord Hospital, said ASH had needed under $500,000 a year to survive, which Dr Peters said was “incredible value to the Australian community”. The Cancer Council had pulled funding because its own anti-smoking operations had grown.

      “I still think that there’s an essential place in tobacco control for an organisation like ASH and I’m disappointed that it’s had to close down,” Dr Peters told MO.

      ASH’s closure “should not be taken as a signal that the tobacco control job is done. Fifteen per cent of people is still a lot of people. The fight to achieve tobacco control is still not over. I’ll continue in other forums.”

      Dr Peters would not comment on the Cancer Council’s funding withdrawal but said ASH was “a quick and nimble organisation and it has been able to be free of some of the inherent bureaucracies in larger organisations and it has been free of conflicting agendas”.

      A Cancer Council spokesperson said the organisation had stopped funding ASH “due to an increase in the number of tobacco control professionals directly employed by Cancer Council”.

      AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said ASH could “look back with pride on 20 years of outstanding promotion and advocacy to drive down smoking rates”.

      “The AMA congratulates ASH on its tireless efforts to improve public health in Australia and wishes its staff, especially outgoing long-serving CEO Anne Jones OAM, all the best in their future endeavours.”

      ASH closure
      •Action on Smoking ?and Health (ASH) to shut down on 31 December ?after 20 years
      •Needed under $500,000 per year to run
      •Cancer Council says it ?withdrew funding because its own anti-smoking activities have grown

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Now lets see how bad the books at Cancer Council look!

  14. Steve Kelly says:

    Very good news. Two more good signs — count ’em, two in one month, in the Anti citadel of Australia! — about ASH, and also about the South Australia government. These join other good signs, e.g. local ban ordinances losing as often as they win in the US over the last couple of years, Nevada’s scaling back of its ban, more cracks over recent years in the German bans, good defiance of Anti in at least some countries, black markets growing apace and all over while taxation Gestapos fall ever further behind, idiots such as Banzhaf getting considerable mainstream press criticism for fear-mongering about e-cigs (the mainstream reporters are starting to wonder if the antismokers have gone fanatical so just maybe they’ll figure out that these people always were crazy), the real and genuinely heartening progress in Holland: all of this and more: good news, all good news. The bad news keeps coming too, of course, we see it all the time. But nowadays not all of the news is bad news. That was pretty much the case for a very long time. Times are changing, not near fast enough, but we are seeing some genuine change.

    I’ve never really understood how so many folks could be so gullible in accepting Anti madness for years and years and sickening years. As glowball warming criticism has spread I’ve wondered why it hasn’t spread further to evoking more mainstream criticism of Antism. But some more folks are finally wising up, on the smoking front, similarly as they did on the glowball front. There are finally some genuinely good and reasonably hopeful signs showing up, not just isolated speed bumps for Anti, but some real hits, starting to pile up, starting to cause Anti some real pain. The Antis haven’t yet felt a millionth part of the pain they deserve but they are at this point taking some effective blows. You can start to hope realistically now for more and more of this. God what a long wait it has been.

    Incidentally, I want to initiate a collection for deposed Australian anti-smokers, which I’ll call the Anti-smoker Rescue Service Enterprise. Please contribute to ARSE by pointing your arse toward Australia every time you fart. I just did it. It felt good.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Sorry I cheated and Flushed mine!

    • beobrigitte says:

      Incidentally, I want to initiate a collection for deposed Australian anti-smokers, which I’ll call the Anti-smoker Rescue Service Enterprise.

      I’d like to donate some “fire proof” cigarettes and a few lighters to ARSE. I hear it’s a long journey to Io.

      • Steve Kelly says:

        I found this about Io: “With over 400 active volcanoes, Io is the most geologically active object in the Solar System.”

        What a nice place for the Antis: plenty of smoke on Io for them to complain about. And they can light up their fire-safes (thanks much, Brigitte, very generous of you) and gleefully watch the cigarettes extinguish themselves over and over again. What a nice occupation for their simpleton minds! ARSE, and the anti-smoker arses themselves, thank you once again.

  15. Rose says:

    I was thinking about this last night, remember when they tried metrication? People going to prison, we were all going to be forced to by law to use metric when our brains calculated in Imperial? Changing the money was relatively easy, they just withdrew the old coins.

    All that fuss went quiet, so what happened?

    I think this sentence sums it up.

    “It goes to the core of who we are. If we are going to change we will do it organically, with the consent of the people. We won’t have it imposed.”

    “Since 1995, goods sold in Europe have had to be weighed or measured in metric, but the UK was temporarily allowed to continue using the imperial system.
    This opt-out was due to expire in 2009, with only pints of beer, milk and cider and miles and supposed to survive beyond the cut-off.

    But ahead of the deadline, the European Commission admitted that persuading the British to accept grams over ounces was a lost cause, and shops could continue to label products in both systems.”

    Which is fine with me.

    • Frank Davis says:

      That’s a strange business. I was raised using feet and inches and pounds so on, but in my teens metrication started coming in – millimetres and metres and killograms and so on. When I do any physics stuff (like orbital simulations) it’s always in metric. But fundamentally I still think in imperial units. Which is a bit screwy.

      I guess I think that metric is more ‘rational’ (multiples of 10 rather than 12 or 16 or 14), but it seems strange to me that all this metrication came in just when we were starting to use calculators and computers to do the mathematics, and those things aren’t bothered by what the units are, and can happily use any units whatsoever.

      • Rose says:

        “In the wake of the French Revolution, a commission organised by the French Academy of Sciences and charged with determining a single scale for all measures, advised the adoption of a decimal system (27 October, 1790) and suggested a basic unit of length equal to one ten-millionth of the distance between the North Pole and the Equator”

        And a fat lot of use that is to someone building a dry stone wall.
        Imperial seems to based on measurements you carry around with you, like feet and inches. But I must admit I would never measure in 12ths of an inch again, for very precise measurements I use metric, for planting bulbs at the correct depth or cooking,or measuring people I use Imperial, metric divisions are just too small and fiddly.

        • beobrigitte says:

          That’s interesting, Rose. I have grown up with metric measurements only and it took me a while to get used to ‘feet’ and ‘inches’. I must admit, I was glad that I did not have to deal with the ‘shilling’ and ‘farthing’, I’d have been lost!
          Nevertheless, – and funnily enough! – I feel a little sad never having had to “battle” with the old monetary system in England; it really was a quirky but very individual thing.
          I think it is very sad to see countries losing their individuality; what’s the point in travelling to see a different place that has been made the same as home?

        • Rose says:

          Quite so, Brigitte.

          As usual nobody asked us if we wanted decimalisation.

          1971: D-Day delivers new UK currency
          “The British Government has launched a new decimal currency across the country.

          The familiar pound (£), shilling (s) and pence (d) coins are to be phased out over the next 18 months in favour of a system dividing the pound into units of ten, including half, one, two, five, ten and 50 pence denominations.

          Chairman of the Decimal Currency Board (DCB) Lord Fiske told reporters: “The general picture is quite clear and the smooth and efficient changeover so many people have worked for is now in fact being achieved.”

          “On Monday, February 15, 1971, Edward Heath’s government formally abolished the old coinage that had served for ­generations, replacing it with a new ­decimal system inspired by Napoleonic France.”

          “Having promised to build a ‘new Britain’ in the ‘white heat’ of the technological revolution, Wilson liked the sound of anything that would make him look youthful and progressive. His was a government obsessed with the new, from new road signs, postcodes, speed limits and breathalysers to the reform of the divorce, abortion and homosexuality laws.

          Going decimal, he thought, would show French president Charles de Gaulle just how keen he was on all things European.

          So when his Chancellor, Jim Callaghan, asked him about decimalisation, Wilson simply nodded and said: ‘Why not?’ — an extraordinarily cavalier and undemocratic way to approve such a sweeping change.

          When the Cabinet considered the matter a few days later, it was accepted with virtually no discussion at all. So, in just a few moments, without the British people ever being asked to express their opinion, the coins that millions of Britons down the centuries had known and loved had been condemned to the scrapheap”

          You can see why the British public are very weary of politicians.
          They never ask, they just tell us that it’s what “everybody” wants.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    Ive a feeling the anti-smoking hysteria has come to a head and its demise is but months away!

  17. harleyrider1978 says:

    My name be Eboneesha Hernandez, a African-Hispanic-American Girl who jus got a award for bein the bess speler in class. I gots a 47% on the spelin text and 38 points for being black, 10 points for not bringin drugs to class, 10 points for not bringin guns to class, and 15 points for not getting pregnut during the cemester. It be hard to beat a score of 120%. White dude sit nex to me is McGee from Jaxon Mizipy. He got a 94% on the text but no extra points on acount of he have the same skin color as the opressirs of 150 years ago. Granny ax me to thank all dimocrafts and liberuls for suportin afermative axion. You be showin da way to true eqwallity. I be gittin in medical skool nex an mabe I be yo doctor since Barrac takn over da healfcare in dis contry.

    Yes Common Core for schools under Obama mandates has had remarkable success!

  18. prog says:

    Things are strangely quiet in cyberspace….maybe they’re hoping no one will notice.

  19. beobrigitte says:

    I hate to be a spoilsport; The news that ASH is closing down in Australia reminds me a little of what the anti-smokers did in Germany; as more demonstrations against the smoking ban were being organized, the anti-smokers (anonymously, of course!) “hailed” the success achieved by such demonstrations – with that the smokers were led to believe that the objective was achieved and therefore there was no need to join further demonstrations.

    Wherever we look these days, so called ‘fringe’ parties are gaining votes; smokers make a large number of VOTERS, even so Nick Clegg and David Cameron chose to forget this. Smokers have no need to vote for ‘fringe’ parties that promise a repeal of the smoking ban…..

    I, for one, will NOT celebrate anything until pub landlords can LEGALLY choose to provide a comfortable environment for smoking CUSTOMERS, or non-smokers only, or for both.

    Pubs are businesses, too!

    When ASH everywhere has had it’s funding slashed, I’d like an official announcement along with the ACTUAL figures how much the taxpayer unwittingly and involuntarily “donated” to this fake charity. Perhaps there is a chance to get my money back – I’d like to retire and give a youngster on the dole a job!

  20. garyk30 says:

    What has ASH done,really?

    Are deaths and diseases declining due to their work in reducing smoking rates?

    Since 1965 smoking in the United States has declined by 47
    percent among people age 18 and older.

    SHS/ETS exposure has declined about 75%.

    The Cardiovascular Disease incidence rate has increased 26% over the 1970 incidence rate.
    There has been a 43% increase in lung cancer deaths since 1970.

    There has been a 74% increase in COPD(emphysema) deaths since 1979.

    Since 1980 asthma death rates overall have increased more than 50% among all genders, age groups and ethnic groups.

    The asthma death rate for children under 19 years old has increased by nearly 80%

    The adult smoking rate had been steady for many years before 1965,there was no big increase after WW2 to justify the big increases in disease and death that we have seen over the last 3-4 decades.

  21. garyk30 says:

    Since 1965 smoking in the United States has declined by 47
    percent among people age 18 and older.

    However, the number of smokers has stayed about the same.
    1965 – 50 million smokers
    2010 – 46 million smokers.

    Let’s say that over the last 50 years there has been $5 billion spent on tobacco control.

    That is about $1,250 per each fewer smoker total.

  22. garyk30 says:

    44 years of anti-smoker, tobacco control spending billions of dollars to accomplish nothing!!

    In the USA over the years from 1965 to 2009:
    The number of current smokers has stayed about the same and the number of people who have tried smoking, altho they stopped, has gone up by over 200%.

    Current smokers are about the same number

    Ever-smokers are up by about 46%

    Ex-smokers are up by over 200%

    Year…. Ever-smokers…. Current-smokers….. Ex-smokers

    (numbers in millions)

    1965…….. 66.2…………… 50.1…………………… 16.1

    1990……. 90……………… 45.8…………………… 44.2

    2009…… 96.5……………. 46.6…………………… 49.9

    Click to access Tobacco-Trend-Report.pdf

    Table 3: Number of Adults Who Were Current Smokers By Sex, Race and Age, Selected Years, 1965-2008

    Table 15: Percent of Adult Former Smokers by Sex, Race, Hispanic Origin, Age and Education, Selected Years, 1965-2008
    (NOTE: This is the percent of ever-smokers-GK)

  23. garyk30 says:

    Anti-smokers,like the Surgeon General, claim that there is NO safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke.

    Well, I am sitting here looking at a cigarette, one gram of tobacco wrapped in paper, and wondering just how many of those lethal objects have to be smoked to ’cause’ one lung cancer death?

    The answer is rather surprising!!

    If the smokers are adults under the age of 35, the CDC says that there are ZERO smoking related deaths per year due to the 138.7 BILLION cigarettes that the 19 MILLION smokers aged 18-35 smoke per year.
    (19 million X 20/day X 365 days per year = 138.7 billion)

    Yup; 138.7 BILLION cigarettes smoked and NOT ONE smoker’s death due to lung(or any other) cancer, cardiovascular disease, or emphysema or any other respiratory disease.

    There are 26 MILLION cigarette smokers over the age of 35 and they will smoke 189.8 BILLION cigarettes per year.

    There are 157,000 lung cancer deaths per year and the Lung Cancer Alliance tells us the 35% or 54,950 are current smokers.

    Click to access lungcancer_factsheet_2008.pdf

    189.8 billion cigarettes smoked per year divided by 54,950 smoker’s lung cancer deaths per year equals ONE lung cancer death per 3,454,049 cigarettes smoked.

    Wow, it takes about 3.5 MILLION cigarettes to cause ONE lung cancer and that is the LOW number!

    Research has shown the cancer causing chemicals in cigarettes cause less than 4% of the smokers lung cancers.

    4% of 54,950 is 2,198 lung cancer deaths.

    189.8 billion cigarettes divided by 2,198 = ONE smoker’s lung cancer death per 86,351,228 cigarettes smoked!!

    YUP, there is ONE current smoker’s lung cancer death per 86.35 MILLION cigarettes smoked.

  24. harleyrider1978 says:







    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)


    ……….”…\………. _.·´



    Deb Arnott you to

  25. Pingback: It Didn’t Work | Frank Davis

  26. Pingback: Great News: ASH Australia to Close Down | VapeH...

  27. Pat Nurse says:

    Sorry to burst the bubble on ASH but we must never be complacent again. This is the response from one of our Aussie consumer cousins on the ASH closure news.

    “I think it’s great that ASH is getting the axe… BUT I’m not celebrating just yet. As the article states; the reason for ASH going down the tubes is because there are now ‘enough’ tobacco control reps in the cancer council and the heart foundation. So the hate campaign is nowhere near dead, it’s just got one less brand.

    “Sadly, I don’t think this newest development is going to make any difference to Aussie smokers – especially as our new prime minister has now announced that he will keep the former government’s promise to keep increasing the (already outrageous) tax on tobacco products – something he swore he would not do in the lead up to the election. They want to increase the prices by something like 60% over the next 4 years, and the next price hike date is 1st December this year.

    “As a normal member of the public, the plain packaging hasn’t made a difference to my smoking habits but I do think it violates intellectual property laws. However, there is far too much emphasis on the whole plain packaging debate when the things that affect ME are hardly ever mentioned – the fact that cigs are so incredibly expensive and keep on getting more so, and the fact that I can’t smoke anywhere anymore without getting dirty looks (denormalisation). Also the fact that the EU is now going to ban menthols. To be honest, I think the pro-choice debates focus far too much on other issues like packs of 10, packaging and e-cigs when the stuff that gets me absolutely livid is hardly ever mentioned. I only smoke menthols. I LOVE them. I was going to leave this country and move back to the EU but now… unless I eat a mint every time I have a smoke, I’m screwed. “

    Sadly, nothing is going to change. Crapman did the damage which is so deeply embedded he can retire on Big T money gained indirectly from tobacco consumer taxes knowing that the hate campaign will continue and criminalisation with huge financial penalties for the consumer is a money spinner in light of lost tax to the black market.

  28. This is a massive setback for the antis – Don’t be complacent, but don’t play it down either – as they are trying to do. Shout this from the rooftops and remind them of it whenever you can, it has lots of potential to demoralise the nutters in the anti-smoker industry.

  29. Pingback: More Great News from Australia | Frank Davis

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