News Releases
Banning smoking and vaping on hospital grounds “unacceptable” says Forest

Responding to calls by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh to ban smoking on hospital grounds, Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said:

“It’s one thing to ask people not to smoke outside hospital entrances, but making it an offence and threatening patients, visitors and staff with fines and other penalties is unacceptable.

“Hospitals can be stressful places. Banning smoking outside, where there is no risk to non-smokers, shows an appalling lack of empathy for people who may be at a low ebb and in need of a comforting cigarette.

“Banning vaping on hospital grounds is especially stupid because most vapers are using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking.

“If this is a health issue, why would you prohibit the use of a product that leading bodies like Public Health England say is 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes?

“If doctors want smokers to quit they should encourage the use of e-cigarettes, not ban it.”

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