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Forest critical of move to ban smoking on sidelines of children’s football matches in Wales

Forest has criticised a move by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to ban smoking on the sidelines of children’s football games in Wales.

Responding to what is described by ASH Wales as an “historic move”, Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

“Banning smoking on the sidelines of children’s football games has nothing to do with health.

“Smoking in the open air does not put anyone else’s health at risk, nor is there evidence that the sight of a non family member smoking encourages children to start.

“The number of adults who smoke on the sidelines is extremely small and most eyes will be on the football.

“This is virtue-signalling by the FAW and further evidence that the war on tobacco is now a moral crusade with unintended consequences for tolerance and moderation.”

He added: “A far more genuine problem at children’s football matches is pushy parents screaming abuse at referees.

“Perhaps the FAW should address that instead of targeting the handful of adults who enjoy a quiet smoke on the sidelines.”

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