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Campaigners say councils should prioritise helping local businesses not stop smoking services.

Days before the ban on menthol cigarettes comes into force, a new paper from the smokers’ group Forest challenges the UK’s slide towards “creeping prohibition”.

Thirty-nine per cent of smokers in the UK are unaware that menthol flavoured cigarettes will be outlawed next week, according to a poll published today.

Forest has criticised an MP who called for new rules on smoking if the government decides to relax the lockdown on pubs, cafes and restaurants with outside seating.

The imminent ban on menthol cigarettes has come at the worst possible time for smokers, says Forest

'The country is facing a genuine public health emergency. Let’s focus on that, not nannying folk to give up a legal habit many people enjoy.'

"Further increases in tobacco duty discriminate against those who are less well off," says Forest

Treasury must reject calls to reintroduce the tobacco tax escalator and close the gap in tax between hand-rolled tobacco and factory-made cigarettes says Forest.

Forest says campaigners must provide evidence that smoking outside is a threat to children's health before banning smoking in play parks and outdoor sports facilities.

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