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The smokers' group Forest has slammed calls for Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and 20,000 acres of parks in the capital to go smoke free.

A petition against plain packaging of tobacco has gained more than 100,000 signatures and more than 50,000 people have personally written to the Prime Minister opposing the initiative.

Forest has described as “inexplicable” a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority to reject a complaint about a television advertisement for the NHS smoke free campaign.

Forest will co-host a special event with libertarian campaign group Conservatives for Liberty at the Tory conference in Birmingham in September.

Conservative candidates in marginal seats, including public health minister, Jane Ellison, risk electoral defeat because of the government’s nanny state policies, according to a new survey of English voters commissioned by the Democracy Institute, a politically independent think tank.

Campaigners have urged the government to keep an "open mind" on plain packaging of tobacco following the announcement of a consultation on draft regulations.

Campaigners against standardised packaging of tobacco today launched an online advertising campaign against the policy.

Forest is urging opponents of plain packaging to write to the prime minister declaring their opposition to the measure, which could be included in the Queen's Speech on June 4.

Forest says demands to raise taxes on tobacco are “deeply irresponsible” and will “play into the hands of criminal gangs”.

Important message to opponents of plain packaging from Forest director Simon Clark:

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