• May 26, 2024

Forest Condemns Anti-Smoking Plan

 Forest Condemns Anti-Smoking Plan
Photo: sezerozger

Smokers’ rights group Forest has condemned plans by Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) to consider a complete ban on the sale of tobacco.

HSE is reportedly contemplating a sharp reduction in the number of outlets allowed to sell tobacco products and a ban on selling tobacco products near schools and universities, along with an annual tobacco tax increase of 20 percent. Other measures to be considered include reducing the nicotine content of tobacco products, banning filters and adding health warnings to individual cigarettes.

“Any form of prohibition would drive consumers underground and into the arms of criminal gangs. Ireland already has a huge problem with illicit trade,” said John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers’ group Forest Ireland, in a statement. “This would make it far worse.”

“The government has no right to intervene to this extent. Tobacco is a legal product, and many adults enjoy smoking.

“Future generations of adults should have an equal right to choose to smoke, just as many adults will choose to drink alcohol, and that choice must be respected.

“Governments have a duty to inform consumers about the health risks of smoking or drinking, but beyond that, it’s a matter for the individual.

“Any attempt to impose further restrictions on tobacco will be fiercely resisted.”