"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
The following are the people most often quoted in the smoking debate. Interestingly, there are some new kids on the block.
Non-smoker Simon Clark joined Forest in 1999. Fat and 52, his first loves are eating, drinking and talking, not necessarily in that order or at the same time. Enjoys his food (obviously) but is a bit opinionated which can be wearisome after a while.
Wozza has hosted Forest events at The Groucho Club and The Savoy Hotel and has represented Forest on numerous programmes including BBC Breakfast, Sky News, BBC Radio Five Live, Channel 4 News and BBC2's The Money Programme. Even when he's going through a non-smoking phase (he's always trying to give up and invariably fails) he's a staunch supporter of smokers' rights. Good man.
For 20 years singer songwriter Joe Jackson lived in New York. Then came the NY smoking ban which inspired a protest song, 'In 20-0-3'. Browsing the internet he discovered Forest which he described as a "ray of light in the gathering darkness". The Grammy award-winning musician then quit America, returned to Britain, joined Forest's Supporters Council, wrote a thought-provoking article for the Daily Telegraph, and subsequently appeared on numerous TV and radio programmes including Radio 4's Today programme. Now living in Berlin, far from the UK smoke police, but available for interviews when required.
One of Britain's most influential post-war artists, David Hockney first attended a private Forest dinner in 2004 and declared it to be a "life enhancing experience". We subsequently joined forces and took the 2005 Labour party conference by storm. David later attended the 2006 Forest Annual Awards at The Groucho Club and our 2008 summer party at Boisdale of Belgravia. He has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows denouncing those "dreary" politicians who want to stop people smoking in public.
Deborah Arnott is cool. OK, she can bore for Britain, but the old girl deserves respect. Her predecessor Clive Bates was a hard act to follow but ice cold Debs has surpassed even Clive's achievements as director of ASH.
Martin Dockrell has almost 25 years' experience of health campaigning including five years with Asthma UK. "ASH," he trilled, when he joined five years ago, "is a fearless and feisty campaigning organisation and represents the best traditions of voluntary sector health action." Some might call Dockrell "feisty". Yeah, right. We think he's a pain in the neck.
Professional do-gooder Amanda Sandford has outlasted at least four directors and may outlive Deborah Arnott as well. Amanda's goal is a society where people can smoke but only at home (and not while she's there). If you light up in her presence, expect a coughing fit and frantic hand gestures as she tries desperately to disperse all those (allegedly dangerous) particles.
Still one of our favourite anti-smoking activists, Hooperman has represented ASH, Smoke Free Birmingham and Smoke Free Warwickshire and is currently regional tobacco policy manager, South Warwickshire Primary Care Trust. Referring to the fact that he was about to have dinner with a smoker, he famously told the Kenilworth Weekly News, "He'll probably light up at the table. And it won't bother me in the slightest." Good man!
Ghastly woman. Nuff said.
Crazy name, crazy guy. Co-founder of Americans for Non-Smokers Rights and founder of Smoke Free Movies, Stanton Glantz's intolerance of smoking is legendary. A frequent visitor to these shores, in 2001 he was one of the first people to recommend a ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants in Britain. Thanks, Stan. The same year he welcomed a Los Angeles council plan to ban smoking in public parks as the "next logical step". Still going strong.
Smoker, gambler, drinker (not necessarily in that order and not always at the same time), Mark Littlewood has brought a breath of fresh air to the smoking debate and much more since his appointment as director-general of the IEA. Recent appearance on Channel 4’s Ten O’Clock Show
Who would have thought it? Ten years ago The Freedom Association was a microcosm of the Conservative party, harbouring the odd libertarian but deeply paternalistic and obsessed with the EU, Gibraltar and the monarchy. Now, thanks to director Simon Richards, the organisation has rebranded itself. It's still obsessed with the EU but it's also a fully fledged member of the libertarian movement and fiercely opposed to excessive regulations such as display bans and attacks on product branding.
Co-founder of one of the world’s leading free market think tanks, Eamonn Butler doesn’t smoke nor does he care much for smoking.
Are you tired of being targetted for your smoking habit?