News Releases
Forest slams plan to ban smoking and vaping on council premises

Campaigners have criticised plans by Breckland Council in Norfolk to prohibit smoking and vaping on all council-owned sites.

The new policy will apply to all employees of Breckland Council, elected members, visitors and contractors working on any council-owned premises. It also ‘affords e-cigarettes and vaping the same restrictions as tobacco’.

Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ lobby group Forest, said:

“The council’s policy is based on the fallacy that smoking outside poses a health risk to non-smokers. There is not a shred of evidence that smoking in the open air is harmful to by-standers.

“Banning vaping as well shows this is not about health but about controlling people’s behaviour. E-cigarettes are used by many smokers to help them quit so banning their use on council premises makes no sense.

“Everyone is entitled to a work break and if staff choose to use that time to light up or vape outside that’s a matter for them not their employer.

“If the council wants to help the government achieve its goal of a smoke free England by 2030 it should focus on the carrot not the stick.

“Policies designed to force adults to quit smoking are not just illiberal, they are often counter-productive because they breed resentment among those they are intended to help.”

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