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Forest slams move to ban smoking in all new seating areas outside Manchester pubs and bars

Forest has criticised a move by Manchester City Council to ban smoking in all new seating areas outside pubs, bars and restaurants.

Legislation passed by the government last month gave the hospitality industry the option to provide smoking and non-smoking areas outside their premises.

But the council wants to make all temporary seating areas smoke-free.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, accused councillors of ignoring the “spirit” of the legislation passed by the government in July.

He said:

“The council has shamefully used the coronavirus crisis to force its anti-smoking agenda on local businesses and local people.

“By rejecting the government’s clear commitment to choice, the council has wilfully ignored the spirit of the legislation that was designed to help the hospitality industry get back on its feet.

“The industry is facing a huge challenge and this could discourage a lot of smokers from returning after lockdown.

“Every business is different which is why proprietors should be allowed to choose their own policy on smoking based on customer demand.”

He added:

“There is no evidence that smoking in the open air is a threat to non-smokers so this is not even a public health issue.

“Smokers must be considerate to those around them but non-smokers should also be tolerant of those who wish to light up outside with a drink.”

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