News Releases
Forest slams “punitive” attack on working class smokers

Campaigners have slammed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt after he announced that duty on hand-rolling tobacco would be increased by 10% above the tobacco duty escalator.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said, “The Chancellor has just raised two fingers to working class people across the country.

“Raising duty on hand-rolled tobacco by such a punitive amount is going to push more smokers further into poverty or into the hands of illegal traders including criminal gangs.

“This is a clear attack on smokers from poorer backgrounds, many of whom use hand-rolled tobacco because until now it’s been cheaper than buying manufactured cigarettes.”

He added:

“Instead of punishing adults who smoke with punitive taxation designed to force them to quit, the government should focus on the underlying reasons why a greater proportion of people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are smokers.

“Often it’s because of their environment but, instead of improving the conditions in which many people live, this Tory government is determined to force smokers to give up a habit that may relieve some of the stress caused by their environment.”

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