Tobacco control

Tobacco packinging

Smoking continues to be one of the leading preventable causes of ill health and mortality in the UK, with an estimated 20,000 deaths each year from heart and circulatory diseases attributed to smoking tobacco.  

Bringing down smoking rates

At the British Heart Foundation, we are committed to beating heartbreak for families affected by these conditions and we believe that continued government action to help bring down smoking rates is a key part of this.

We are a core funder of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), ASH Wales and ASH Scotland. By providing support to these organisations, we can help ensure that the UK continues to make progress in reducing the harm caused by tobacco.

In the past, BHF has had a number of successes in influencing government to revise legislation within tobacco control. These successes include: the introduction of standardised packaging, the ban on smoking in cars, the removal of cigarette vending machines and the introduction of screens to hide tobacco products in shops.  

Want to find out more? Read our blog to mark World No Tobacco Day, which highlights some of the research and policy work that has been integral to the progress we have made so far to bring down smoking rates.


The use of e-cigarettes is a contentious tobacco control issue. Health professionals are divided about the possible harms that e-cigarettes present and their potential as a healthier alternative to smoking, due to a lack of evidence regarding the long-term effects of these products.

However, trends show that smokers and ex-smokers are increasingly using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.

Evidence on the safety and long-term effects of e-cigarettes is still emerging. More research is needed into the efficacy and health impacts of these products, and the extent to which they act as a gateway for people to start smoking. We recognise that e-cigarettes are increasingly being used as a cessation aid. It is therefore important they should be regulated (and responsibly marketed) for this purpose.

To find out more email us at [email protected]