News Releases
Tobacco free Ireland target “illiberal” and “unachievable”

Forest has urged the Irish government to abandon its target of making Ireland ‘tobacco free’ by 2025.

Responding to Tobacco Free Ireland’s Annual Report for 2019, the smokers’ group Forest Ireland said the goal of reducing smoking rates to five per cent or less within five years was “unachievable” and should be dropped.

Spokesman John Mallon said, “The government must accept that adults have a right to smoke and that choice must be respected.

“Forcing smokers to quit a legal habit is unacceptable at any time. Setting an unachievable target is absurd and illiberal.”

He added, “If ministers want smoking rates to fall significantly over the next few years they should encourage existing smokers to switch to reduced risk products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco.

“The stick must be replaced by the carrot because smokers are sick of being an easy target for discrimination.”

Forest Ireland also questioned the inclusion of a question about people’s smoking status in the 2021 census, describing it as a “gross invasion of privacy”.

According to Mallon, “How is this information going to be used? Potentially, this is a gross invasion of privacy.

“Smoking is a private matter and if adults choose to smoke it has nothing to do with 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