• May 23, 2024

Deborah Arnott to Retire from ASH

 Deborah Arnott to Retire from ASH
Photo: Lyubov

Deborah Arnott will be retiring from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) on Sept. 30, and the board of trustees is starting the recruitment process for her successor.

During her 21-year tenure at ASH, Arnott developed and led campaigns that contributed to U.K. legislation prohibiting smoking in public places, putting tobacco out of sight in shops and plain standardized tobacco packs. According to ASH, the ratcheting up of regulation has been accompanied by substantial declines in smoking prevalence of more than half among adults and more than 80 percent among children aged 11–15.

Before Arnott retires, Parliament is expected to have passed laws to create a smoke-free generation.

“I want to thank Deborah for her passion and determination over the last 21 years,” said Nick Hopkinson, chair of trustees at ASH, in a statement. “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 smoke-free future and raising the age of sale to create a smoke-free generation overwhelmingly supported by the public and Parliament.”

Arnott said, “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 organization.”

Bob Blackman, Member of Parliament and chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, which ASH provides the secretariat for, said, “What has been achieved in tobacco legislation over the last 21 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 smoke-free generation later this year. We have much to thank her for.”