Vaping News

Deborah Arnott to Retire

ASH CEO Deborah Arnott to retire in the Autumn as the Government poised to create first smokefree generation

Share on:
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) have announced that after 21 successful years, Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, will be retiring on 30th September and the Board of Trustees is starting the recruitment process for her successor. This will allow time for her successor to be recruited before she leaves, to enable a smooth transition.

ASH says: “The last 21 years have seen Deborah Arnott develop and lead ASH and the Smokefree Action Coalition which ASH coordinates, to substantial campaign successes including legislation prohibiting smoking in public places, putting tobacco out of sight in shops, and plain standardised tobacco packs. The ratcheting up of regulation has been accompanied by substantial declines in smoking prevalence of more than half among adults and more than 80% among children aged 11-15.
“Before Deborah retires, parliament is expected to have passed revolutionary laws to create a smokefree generation; a fitting end to two decades of campaigning success
Professor Nick Hopkinson, Chair of Trustees at ASH, commented: “I want to thank Deborah for her passion and determination over the last twenty one years. While everyone at ASH will be sad to see Deborah go, she leaves ASH in a robust position, with sound finances and a talented staff team. The next chief executive will inherit a highly-motivated group of colleagues and supporters. Now is an exciting time for tobacco control, with government commitments to a smokefree future and raising the age of sale to create a smokefree generation overwhelmingly supported by the public and parliament.”
Deborah Arnott commented on her own decision: “I am proud to be leaving ASH at a good time and in safe hands, well on the way to delivery of our mission to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. Our values, the strength of our team, the quality of ASH advocacy and networking, and our reputation and influence all stand us in good stead for the future. Whoever takes over from me is inheriting the leadership of an outstanding organisation.”
Bob Blackman MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health which ASH provides the secretariat for, added: “What has been achieved in tobacco legislation over the last twenty-one years is in no small measure due to the brilliant work led by Deborah at ASH. Working in collaboration with politicians from across the political spectrum she has built and sustained a truly cross party consensus on ending the harms from smoking. As a result, I have no doubt that MPs from every party will vote to create a smokefree generation later this year. We have much to thank her for.”
For more than twenty years Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation have been ASH’s major funders.
Cancer Research UK's chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said: “Deborah Arnott’s highly effective leadership of ASH over the past two decades has helped pave the way for the world-leading progress made in reducing the burden of tobacco – the biggest preventable cause of cancer and death in the UK. Deborah’s impact extends worldwide. She has been a key figure in the global tobacco control community, helping to secure stricter tobacco control measures around the world, which prevent cancer cases and save lives.
“We are proud to support ASH and look forward to continuing to work together. Particularly on the age of sale legislation as it passes through parliament. If implemented, this could help stop the next generation ever becoming addicted to tobacco
British Heart Foundation Chief Executive Dr Charmaine Griffiths, concluded: “For two decades, Deborah has been the inspirational and tireless leader of an incredibly effective public health organisation. The dramatic reduction in tobacco smoking over that period, and the many lives saved, would not have happened without the landmark policies relentlessly driven by Deborah and her team at Action on Smoking and Health. For this, the BHF and wider cardiovascular community owe her their most heartfelt gratitude.
“As well as being a passionate campaigner and consistently effective influencer, Deborah has been an extremely competent CEO, and so leaves the ASH organisation primed and ready to drive the next steps towards a smokefree country, a vision she has never let out of her sight

For more information on the new vacancy visit this link.

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

ASH UK’s Coordinated Comment

Action on Smoking and Health has coordinated a series of responses to the Governments proposals to include interested parties

Vaping News

Doctors call for ban

Doctors call for prescription-only vapes in a letter to The Times under the guise of protecting children – ignoring the impact a similar approach has had in Australia

Vaping News

A Manifesto for Smokefree Beginnings

The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group has produced its fourth national report: “A Manifesto for Smokefree Beginnings”

Health & Studies

Research Shows Fewer Quitters

A study published in BMC Medicine looks at the decline in smoking in England since the pandemic, drawing comment from experts and the Independent British Vape Trade Association