News Releases
Banning smoking in outdoor pavement areas would be “insane”

Forest has welcomed reports that the Cabinet has rejected a plan by health secretary Sajid Javid to ban smoking in pavement areas outside pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Director Simon Clark said:

“Banning smoking in pavement areas would be insane. There is no justification for the government to intervene on public health grounds because there is no evidence that smoking outside is a significant risk to non-smokers.

“Having survived, with great difficulty, many of the regulations imposed during the pandemic, the last thing the hospitality industry needs is the threat of the smoking ban being extended to outdoor areas.

“Government should be reducing red tape, not adding to it with arbitrary regulations that can only hurt the hospitality industry by reducing customer choice.”

He added:

“Under current regulations pubs, cafes and restaurants that provide outdoor seating on pavements must offer separate non-smoking areas.

“Smoking areas are optional and if proprietors don’t want to provide one they don’t have to, but they must have the freedom to choose based on customer demand and what’s best for their business.”

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