News Releases
Ireland: Forest slams call to raise age of sale of tobacco to 21

Forest Ireland has slammed a call by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland to increase the minimum legal age for buying tobacco to 21.

John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers’ lobby group Forest Ireland, said: “At 18 you are legally an adult and you should be treated like one.

“Raising the legal age of sale of tobacco to 21 will infantilise young adults who must be encouraged to make informed choices for themselves, not be mollycoddled by the state.

“Increasing the legal age for buying tobacco won’t stop young adults from smoking. It will simply drive the sale of tobacco underground and into the hands of criminal gangs.”

He added, “Further anti-smoking measures are completely unnecessary.

“Smoking rates have been falling across all age groups for decades and they will almost certainly continue to fall, as smoking falls further out of fashion and current smokers switch to reduced risk products like e-cigarettes, without the need for additional legislation.

“But if adults of any age choose to smoke tobacco that’s their choice and a truly liberal society would respect and defend that choice.”

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