Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation

ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation is an initiative to help reduce the harms caused by tobacco and related products and contribute towards achieving the goal of a tobacco-free generation in Scotland by 2034.


Why support the Charter?

The Charter helps organisations that are invested in the health, wealth and happiness of people in their communities to tackle the impacts caused by using tobacco or related products.



  • Most adults who smoke started smoking as children, before the age of 18.
  • More than 8,000 deaths are attributed to smoking in Scotland each year, accounting for 16% of all Scottish deaths.
  • There are 86,000 smoking-related hospital admissions every year in Scotland, equating to 1,653 a week, 236 a day or 10 admissions an hour.
  • On average, people who are life-long smokers (i.e. those who start early in adult life and never stop) die about 10 years sooner than non-smokers.


  • Smoking rates in the most deprived areas of Scotland are three and a half times higher than in the least deprived.
  • If the smoking rate in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland fell by just 1%, in not buying tobacco, Scotland’s poorest communities would save around £18 million a year.
  • The average financial cost to someone in Scotland who smokes is £143 a month, or £1,720 a year.
  • 35% of deaths in Scotland's most deprived areas were from smoking-attributable causes, compared with 8% of deaths in the least deprived areas.


  • Around two-thirds of people in Scotland who smoke would like to stop.
  • At least a third of tobacco is used by people with a diagnosed mental health issue.
  • Stopping smoking is associated with improvements in depression, stress and anxiety.
  • It's a common belief that smoking helps people relax. What can feel like stress relief, is usually relief from nicotine withdrawal and it sustains the cycle of addiction overtime.

Charter principles

Scotland has a goal of creating a tobacco-free generation by 2034, meaning that communities across the country will have a smoking rate of 5% or fewer.

Charter supporters are helping to make progress through endorsing the following principles and taking positive actions in their communities:

  1. Everyone should be able to learn, work and play in places that are tobacco-free.
  2. Children have the right to be protected from the harmful effects of tobacco and enjoy a smoke-free environment;
  3. Everyone should be equipped with information and effective education about smoking, health and wellbeing;
  4. Everyone should be protected from commercial interests which profit from the use of tobacco and related products;
  5. Everyone should have access to free and accessible support from the NHS to help them to quit smoking and vaping.

Make a pledge

More than 475 organisations across the country support ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation.

Endorsing the Charter is free and a great way to show your organisation's commitment to creating healthier, happier, and wealthier communities.

Becoming a Charter Supporter is easy:

  1. Enter a few details about your organisation on our online form.
  2. Pledge three actions that your organisation will take to improve the wellbeing of people you work with by addressing smoking (we can help guide you with pledges if you’re not sure where to start).
  3. Access advice, support and resources from ASH Scotland to help you to deliver on your pledges.

We will send you a welcome pack telling you about ways to get involved with the Charter, resources and support available to help realise your pledges.