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Forest rejects claim that smoking is "adding to the social care crisis"

Mon 30th January, 2017

Forest has rejected claims that smoking is adding to the "social care crisis".

Responding to research published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health (run by the taxpayer-funded lobby group ASH), Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

“To suggest that smoking is contributing to the social care crisis is nonsense.

“Smoking rates are at their lowest ever level yet smokers still contribute £12 billion a year in tobacco taxation, a sum that far exceeds the alleged cost of treating smoking-related diseases or providing social care to those suffering from a smoking-related illness.

“Councils are right to question or cut funding for stop smoking services. Since 2010 the number of people using stop smoking services in England has fallen by 51 per cent.

“Most smokers don’t need the state to help them quit. It's madness to spend taxpayers’ money on a resource that is no longer in demand when free market options like e-cigarettes are widely available and many smokers quit using willpower alone.

“The government should resist demands to publish a new tobacco control plan without further delay.

“It makes no sense to introduce a new tobacco control plan before the impact of interventions such as plain packaging, larger health warnings and the display ban has been independently reviewed.

“If the prime minister really wants a fairer Britain, as she claims, she should reject calls to continue this relentless war on eight million smokers.

“Millions of adults smoke and enjoy smoking. Further measures designed to denormalise smokers and their habit would be the clearest sign that Theresa May’s government is not as inclusive as it purports to be.”

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