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War on smoking has gone far enough, Forest tells mayor

Mon 12th February, 2018

Forest has criticised proposals to extend smoke-free areas in Greater Manchester and introduce licensing of tobacco retailers.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham wants to reduce the number of smokers in the region by 115,000 over the next three years and has launched a public consultation with NHS leaders.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

"The war on smoking has gone far enough. Adults know the health risks and if they choose to smoke that decision must be respected.

"Tobacco is a legal product and adults have every right to smoke without being vilified, treated like children or targeted with unfair regulations.

"There's no evidence that smoking outside is a threat to other people's health and introducing a licensing system will make tobacco even more expensive because the cost will be passed on to the consumer."

He added:

"This creeping prohibition has to stop. Instead of coercing smokers to quit, local government should promote harm reduction products like e-cigarettes.

"The key to smoking cessation is choice and education, not measures designed to hurt or humiliate ordinary, decent people."

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