News Releases
Tobacco sales ban: PM accused of “creeping prohibition”

Forest has accused prime minister Rishi Sunak of “creeping prohibition” and treating future generations of adults like children.

Responding to the announcement that the government will raise the age of sale of tobacco by one year every year, Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ rights group Forest, said:

“These are desperate measures by a desperate prime minister.

“Raising the age of sale of tobacco is creeping prohibition, but it won’t stop young people smoking because prohibition doesn’t work. Anyone who wants to smoke will buy tobacco abroad or from illicit sources. 

“This is the opposite of levelling up, it’s dumbing down. Future generations of adults who are considered old enough to vote, pay taxes, drive a car and drink alcohol are going to be treated like children and denied the right to buy a product that can be purchased legally by people a year older than them.”

He added:

“This is now a conservative government in name only because the prime minister has just taken a wrecking ball to the principles of choice and personal responsibility.”

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