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Forest slams suggestion that Labour might ban sale of cigarettes to eradicate smoking

Forest has slammed the suggestion that a future Labour government could ban the sale of cigarettes to eradicate smoking by 2030.

Speaking to the BBC, shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said Labour would consult on banning the sale of cigarettes.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, condemned the idea and said: “The health risks of smoking are well known but it’s a legitimate habit that millions of adults enjoy.

“Banning the sale of cigarettes to future generations won’t stop people smoking. It would merely drive the sale of tobacco underground and into the hands of criminal gangs.”

He added: “The current smoking rates are the lowest on record and an increasing number of smokers are switching voluntarily to reduced risk products like e-cigarettes without government intervention.

“Given all the problems facing the NHS and the country at large, it’s laughable to think that tackling smoking might be considered a priority for a future Labour government.”

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