"Tobacco is not an illegal substance yet the government is persecuting a minority. I think that's a disgrace in a social democracy."
Sir Ronald Harwood,
Playwright and screenwriter
Founded in 1979, Forest represents adults who choose to consume tobacco and non-smoking adults who are tolerant of other people's enjoyment of tobacco.
The group was set up by Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris, a former Battle of Britain fighter pilot. A lifelong pipe smoker who died in 2003 aged 86, Sir Christopher was awarded the DSO in 1945, OBE in 1956, CB in 1966, KCB in 1969, and GCB in 1973.
Chairman of Forest from 1987 until his death, aged 81, in October 2006, was another pipe smoker, Lord Harris of High Cross. Best known for his work at the Institute of Economic Affairs, where he was general director for 30 years (1957-1987), Ralph Harris was an active participant in the smoking debate. In 1998 he co-wrote, with Judith Hatton, Murder A Cigarette, and in 2005 wrote a powerful essay, Smoking Out The Truth: A Challenge To The Chief Medical Officer.
Patron of Forest is TV chef and restaurateur Antony Worrall Thompson. Members of our Supporters Council include artist David Hockney, musician Joe Jackson, inventor Trevor Baylis, Oscar-winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood, and businessman Ranald Macdonald of Boisdale Bars and Restaurants.
There have been four full-time directors: Stephen Eyres (1983-1990), Chris Tame (1990-95), Marjorie Nicholson (1995-99), and Simon Clark (1999-present).
Are you a smoker who is tired of being targetted for your habit?