News Releases

Forest news & comment

Forest has rejected the claim that smokers cost society £17 billion a year, £5 billion more than previously estimated.

"Smokers know all about oppressive regulations so let their experience of the slippery slope and creeping prohibition be a warning to everyone who values individual liberty."

News that the HSE is to 'consider a complete ban on the sale of tobacco and a sharp reduction in the number of outlets allowed to sell tobacco products ... to help eradicate cigarette smoking in Ireland' has been condemned by Forest Ireland.

Plans to ban the sale of tobacco to people born after 2008 in New Zealand have been described as "absurd" and "illiberal" by smokers' rights campaigners.

Forest has welcomed reports that the Cabinet has rejected a plan by health secretary Sajid Javid to ban smoking in pavement areas outside pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Minister for Health: "There is currently a dearth of evidence to indicate that a measure preventing the sale of packs of more than 20 cigarettes would impact on consumption or prevalence."

“If people choose not to smoke that’s fine but setting a target for a smoke-free Wales is a green light for politicians and campaigners who seem determined to regulate and control people’s lives.”

Forest has criticised a series of amendments tabled by Labour MP Mary Foy, chair of the APPG on Smoking and Health, in response to the Government's Health and Care Bill.

"This is yet another attack on a group of consumers, many of whom are low paid workers, after a stressful 18 months during which many may have lost their jobs or been impoverished in other ways."

Campaigners have urged the government to "stop weaponising" tax in order to achieve a Smoke Free Ireland by 2025.

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"Tobacco is not an illegal substance yet the government is persecuting a minority. I think that's a disgrace in a social democracy."

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