News Releases
Budget: Further increase in tobacco duty “grossly unfair”

Forest has described the announcement that tobacco duty will continue to rise by inflation plus two per cent as “grossly unfair”.

Director Simon Clark said: “Another increase in tobacco duty is grossly unfair because the people hardest hit are those who can least afford it.

“As well as forcing some consumers further into poverty it will inevitably encourage more people to buy tobacco on the black market or in countries where tobacco is significantly cheaper.

“This will hit legitimate retailers at home and the government will lose much needed revenue so no-one wins apart from criminal gangs and illicit traders.”

He added: “Smoking may not be a healthy choice but tobacco is a legal product and targeting smokers with punitive taxation, year after year, undermines the government’s commitment to a fairer society.”

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