Tuesday, 14 June 2011

ASH Scotland displays anti-smoking alliance building skills to London conference

Today was the second day of the 2011 UK Scottish Smoking Cessation Conference. Scottish readers will be proud to learn that the day kicked off with a workshop on successful tobacco control alliances, led by David Robertson, Alliances Manager and STCA Coordinator, ASH Scotland.

Building such alliances form a large part of ASH Scotland's work. The latest Local Tobacco Alliances project report describes work done over the last five years (this round of funding finishes this year). The alliances appear to include different professional and voluntary groups (predominantly in social services, health, environmental services). The report is full of the usual self-congratulatory waffle, but a more detailed idea of what the alliances do can be found here – a huge array of smoking cessation advice delivered to people of all ages and every conceivable setting.

I wish I could feel proud of such teamwork But – as the project documentation shows – this is top-down government starting with the World Health Organisation. It's about employing civil society to pursue a global goal, almost independently of the Scottish Government (that is, they pay a substantial whack of ASH Scotland's income) – and where's the accountability in that?

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