About

About the Smokefree Action Coalition

The Smokefree Action Coalition (SFAC) is a group of over 300 organisations across the UK committed to promoting public health, protecting children and lessening health inequalities by reducing the harm caused by tobacco.

The Smokefree Action Coalition (SFAC) is a group of over 300 organisations across the UK committed to promoting public health, protecting children and lessening health inequalities by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. The Coalition is coordinated by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Internationally we collaborate with colleagues in the Framework Convention Alliance, an organisation of more than 500 civil society groups across the world created to support implementation of the world’s first public health treaty, the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Our objective is to continue reducing the harm caused by tobacco by ensuring that an effective, fully funded and comprehensive tobacco control strategy remains a central element of government health policy. The SFAC shares the Government’s vision of a smokefree generation and public support for Government action to tackle smoking is strong and growing. The UK is recognised as a world leader in tackling smoking and if we can sustain the progress in reducing smoking rates achieved since the last Tobacco Control Plan in 2011, we can achieve our vision by 2030. However, the lessons from the past are that this can only be achieved if government action is systematic, co-ordinated and properly resourced.

The SFAC strategy objectives are:

  1. Making sure the targets in the Tobacco Control Plan for England are achieved
  2. Securing sustainable funding for tobacco control
  3. Engaging the NHS and health professionals to support smokers to quit
  4. Supporting the delivery of tobacco control at the local and regional level
  5. Controlling the Tobacco Supply Chain
  6. Supporting International Tobacco Control
  7. Supporting Regulation and Appropriate Use of Reduced Risk Nicotine Products

In February 2018 we published our latest strategy for the Smokefree Action Coalition, which you can read here. Please take the time to learn more about the Coalition and join us to get involved in helping to secure a smokefree future for our children.

The SFAC’s geographical remit is England for devolved matters such as health, and UK-wide for reserved matters such as tax and illegal tobacco.

England

In July 2017 the Department of Health published its new Tobacco Control Plan for England. The Smokefree Action Coalition was pleased to see a new Plan with renewed targets and actions designed to deliver a smokefree generation. However, the Coalition is concerned that no specific funding has been committed to deliver the actions and objectives set out in the Plan. You can read ASH’s detailed response to the plan here.

Wales

The Tobacco Control Action Plan for Wales was published in 2012. The Action Plan includes the target to reduce smoking prevalence in Wales to 16% by 2020, a target which is on course to be met. The Action Plan is currently being revised, with the actions and indicators set to be updated to reflect the changing tobacco control needs, with an emphasis on the key themes of prevention, cessation and denormalisation. ASH Wales has been involved in this process from the outset and has been calling for more ambitious targets to be included in the new version of the Action Plan, which is expected to be published at the end of 2017/beginning of 2018.

Scotland

Scotland’s Tobacco Control Strategy – Creating a Tobacco-Free Generation was published in 2013. The strategy sets out a five year plan for action across the key themes of health inequalities, prevention, protection and cessation. It includes setting 2034 as a target date for reducing adult smoking prevalence to 5% throughout Scotland. It also includes a target to reduce childhood secondhand smoke exposure by half against a 2012 baseline within the lifetime of the strategy, which has been met early. In 2018, the Scottish government published a five-year action plansetting out interventions and policies to help reduce the use of and associated harms from using tobacco. ASH Scotland has been a key partner in the development and implementation of Scottish tobacco control policy.

The UK is a world leader in tobacco control policy yet tobacco continues to cause nearly 100,000 deaths per year, making it the largest preventable cause of death and disease in the UK. Smokers and non-smokers, adults and children, all suffer from the burden of tobacco smoke. Some groups suffer more than others and higher rates of smoking among the poorest and most disadvantaged increase health inequalities. It isn’t a simple matter of choice, it is hard for smokers to quit because tobacco is so addictive. There is much more that can be done to reduce the harm caused by smoking to smokers and those around them. The public are keen for further tobacco reform. It is essential for government policy to continue to develop and effectively fund its tobacco policy if smoking prevalence is to continue to be driven down year on year.

“Hundreds of children still take up smoking every single day. Many will go on to become lifelong smokers – half of whom will die because of tobacco. We are committed to doing all we can to bring an end to the smoking epidemic.”