We will get government to
establish policies that minimise the risk of developing heart and
We aim to achieve this by:
- asking people affected by heart disease what issues impact them
the most, and how they would like to get involved in campaigning
- lobbying with partner organisations
- working in partnership with charities, the Department of Health
- identifying opportunities to inﬂuence the Government agenda on
emerging issues, such as the role of charities in providing
services in the NHS.
How we made a difference in 2009-10
For years, vending machines have been an easy way for children
in the UK to buy cigarettes. Around 23,000 11-15 year-old regular
smokers get their cigarettes from these machines in England and
Since it’s estimated that one in five deaths from heart and
circulatory disease are attributable to smoking, lowering the number of child smokers in
the UK is vital to public health.
We wanted to cut this simple route to children obtaining
cigarettes by changing the law.
We ran a carefully coordinated
campaign, designed to persuade politicians to support a total
ban on cigarette vending machines across the UK.
We focused on Scotland first, organising briefings, and lobbying
MSPs. And in February 2009 the Scottish Government announced their
intention to introduce a ban. We then turned the spotlight south:
on pubs in the heart of Westminster.
We created an undercover video
podcast in which two 14 year-olds bought cigarettes without
being challenged, showing politicians that the problem existed
right on their own doorstep.
All the hard work paid off. The Government changed its position
at the last minute and a ban will now come into place in England in
October 2011. Governments in Wales and Northern Ireland have been
given the power to do the same. Wonderful news!
Parliamentary lobby day
In February we held a parliamentary lobby day where over 100
campaigners lobbied their MPs for a new approach to tackling heart
and circulatory disease in England. Sixty-eight MPs pledged to
tackle heart and circulatory disease at the general election and
We ran a series of campaigning workshops across the England,
where heart patients and others who were keen to do more could
learn to become effective campaigners. We’ll continue to roll these
out across the UK.