News Releases
Ban on cigarettes “a fool’s errand” says Forest

Forest has criticised a call by a leading tobacco company for the UK government to ban cigarettes within ten years.

Rejecting the suggestion by Jack Olczak, CEO of Philip Morris International (PMI), Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

“We welcome PMI’s commitment to reduced risk products. However there are millions of adults who enjoy smoking cigarettes and don’t want to quit and that choice must be respected.

“If Philip Morris want to leave smoking behind, good luck to them, but banning cigarettes won’t stop people smoking. It will simply drive the product into the hands of criminal gangs who will happily sell illicit and counterfeit cigarettes to anyone who wants them, including children.

“We support the carrot not the stick approach to smoking cessation. Trying to force smokers to quit by banning cigarettes is illiberal and a fool’s errand that will end badly.”

Simon Clark

Mission & Vision



Forest’s mission is to protect the interests of adults who choose to smoke or consume tobacco.


Our key aims and objectives are to:

  • counteract the “denormalisation” of smoking, and smokers
  • prevent further restrictions on the purchase and consumption of tobacco
  • establish closer links with other tobacco-friendly groups at home and abroad
  • build support among consumers of tobacco and other similarly threatened groups
  • highlight the increasingly intrusive nature of Big Government in the lives of private individuals