Search This Site
Forest on Twitter

TFS on Twitter

Join Forest On Facebook

Featured Video

Friends of The Free Society


Powered by Squarespace
« Threatened with violence ... for smoking | Main | Lights, camera, action ... »

Forest launches petition against EC proposals on tobacco

The EC’s Tobacco Product Directive dates from 2001. Officials in Brussels believe there may be a need to revise it and a few months ago they launched a "public consultation" ... which is fine except that very few people know about it.

Respondents to this exercise in democracy are invited to select from a range of options that are featured in the consultation document, one of thousands of EC documents that the general public never read.

It includes options to:

  • introduce plain packaging
  • enlarge the size of graphic health warnings
  • ban vending machines
  • prohibit the display of tobacco products, and, oh,
  • ban ALL smokeless tobacco products

Forest opposes all those options because we are passionate about "unnecessarily restrictive regulations that will threaten jobs and small businesses, inconvenience millions of law-abiding consumers, and are designed to denormalise a legal product".

In recent weeks British retailers have been making their views known courtesy of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, the Scottish Grocers Federation and the Scottish Wholesale Association. Now it's the turn of the consumer.

Today Forest is launching an online response form to oppose the options listed above. It takes less than a minute to fill in your name and address and Forest will do the rest.

If you prefer you can download a petition. Sign it and fax it to 01223 370040 or post it to Forest, Sheraton House, Castle Park, Cambridge CB3 0AX, and we will send it to the EC on your behalf.

Closing date for the EC consultation is Friday 17 December 2010. If however you are sending your response via Forest we must receive it no later than Wednesday 15 December 2010.

Whatever your view of the EC, the EU or the European Parliament, it is important that the consumer engages in this consultation. Failure to do so will undoubtedly weaken our position.

Tell family, friends and work colleagues about the consultation and invite them to respond too.

We don't make a habit of asking for your help because we are conscious of 'campaign fatigue'. This however is one of those occasions when we need your direct input. There is very little time left so please act on this today.

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: WHAT NEXT? YOU.
    Whatever it is that you like, do you seriously want to be next? Sign the petition and make sure you won't be.

Reader Comments (27)

Done - for what use it will be.

There is no such thing as 'campaign fatigue' when it comes to the smoking ban.

December 7, 2010 at 10:54 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Is there a simple way to share on Facebook, Simon?

December 7, 2010 at 11:15 | Unregistered CommenterRose W

I have calculated there are 70 million smokers in the EU and this is a sure fire way for the EU to alienate a vast section of voters. The denormalisation campaign and descrimination only applies in the UK, most of Europe is far more relaxed about smoking as you can gather. Also Europe's smokers are far less compliant, active and deferential than the UK's. For example the out of the 12 regions of Germany only Bavaria with a population of 13 million has a smoking ban, but their Facebook group alone has 22,000 supporters.

John Dalli the EU Health Commissioner has bitten more off than he can chew, I believe. UKIP will of course be critical, and also I hope some of the Tory MEP's like Dan Hannan and Syed Kamall do too.

The link below is a speech given by Dalli on the 29/11/10 in the EU Parliament and is an ASH cut and paste. This resentment a smoking ban like ours with the naked discrimination we have, will be the EU's Waterloo.

December 7, 2010 at 11:16 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Signed it but isn't it a little late? Cut-off by 17th Dec????

December 7, 2010 at 11:19 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

Smoking Hot, thanks for signing the petition. I would agree if this was a hard copy petition but it is primarily an online campaign and in our experience a few days is all it needs to spread across the Internet. Of course, it might stall through lack of interest but that would happen anyway.

Also, giving people a short space of time to respond creates a sense of urgency and they are more likely to respond immediately. Give people too much time and they put it to one side and forget about it.

December 7, 2010 at 12:28 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Clark


December 7, 2010 at 12:47 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Done and signed.

I don't have campaign fatigue but just a huge dose of cynicism that no matter what we do we won't be heard because we're not allowed to be.

This is not about choice but force. You only have to look at the sham that was the consultation before the ban, or the sham that was the NuLab review of the ban which was only ever going one way towards further restrictions. NuToryConDems minds are also made up on this.

Basically, we don't matter and they don't mind as long as they can continue to eradicate the culture of smoking.

December 7, 2010 at 13:05 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse


However, I do agree with Pat Nurse, sadly!

Thanks Simon for this opportunity though and well done on all your efforts.

December 8, 2010 at 10:26 | Unregistered Commenterlynladd

Done - when are we going to see your campaign video Simon?

December 8, 2010 at 10:30 | Unregistered CommenterMark Butcher

Mark, it is currently being edited but it should be ready before the end of the week.

December 8, 2010 at 11:23 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Clark

Excellent Simon - looking forward to it more than 'Tron-The Legacy' :)

December 8, 2010 at 11:49 | Unregistered CommenterMark Butcher

Who are these guys and where do they come from and what is their real agenda. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, Smugglers and the Counterfeiters will be delighted with the plain packaging.

December 8, 2010 at 12:13 | Unregistered Commenterann

The most important measure to oppose is an EU wide ban on smoking in all public places.

December 8, 2010 at 12:36 | Unregistered Commenterjon

Signed !

Once again, MANY thanks to FOREST and all concerned. If only we had a few more such Davids (no, not THAT one !!!) to combat this Goliath.......

December 8, 2010 at 13:05 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Mark, I always say, start with low expectations and you won't be disappointed!

December 8, 2010 at 13:28 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Clark

Indeed Simon. Expect nothing and anything that we get is a bonus.

BTW, I should have added my thanks too. Despite my negativity, I am grateful that we have Forest and a professional like yourself to stand our corner.

December 8, 2010 at 14:16 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Done. Junican.

December 9, 2010 at 2:54 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I've signed it - it won't stop them but at least they know that there's opposition.

December 9, 2010 at 7:31 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce


December 9, 2010 at 7:33 | Unregistered CommenterPeter James

signed..although the EC seems to be a funny beast, on the one hand seeking to ban the consumption of tobacco, and on the other giving agricultural subsidies to tobacco growers, and grants to tobacco manufacturers for new machinery.... most odd that one should think that these people use logic to assess smoking legislation

O! what strange times !

December 9, 2010 at 8:51 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

"most odd that one should think that these people use logic ..........."

Oh, but they do, John: the kind of 'logic' Lewis Carroll used to such comic effect in Alice's world - a world almost as barmy as our own.

December 9, 2010 at 9:47 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

The EC may not even exist by the end of next year.
Here's hoping.

December 9, 2010 at 10:43 | Unregistered CommenterCW

Peter James - are you THE Peter James whose latest novel I'm currently reading - I ask only because it appears to be anti-ban and smoker friendly.

December 9, 2010 at 10:53 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

The Euro seems doomed

December 9, 2010 at 11:04 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

History usually vindicates the centre-right, if the Euro exists as it does now in a years time I will be staggered. The EU's own economists warned at the time of inception that it would not work with so many disparate economies, cultures, cycles and models. Apparently Italy's debts approach Eu 1 trillion and if that goes into bailout/default it really is good night Vienna. I checked up on the GDP growth for the EU region from 1999 to 2009 and is a pathetic 1.6% per year. The top down, nannying, interefering, enterprise and job destroying Commission and Parliament have seriously undermined the EU's competitive edge. If this continues with in 20 years we will become a 2nd world nation.

Like a heroin junkie in denial Barroso and Van Rompuy will man the deck of the sinking ship saying it can still work. Also what they are prepared to do
keep their nightmare alive will be no doubt considerable and the EU's darkest days may not be here yet.

The silver lining in the EU smoking ban cloud is that while intellectually the smoking ban in the UK in the grand scheme of things is a 2nd or even 3rd division issue, it punches well above its weight with a significant minority of people. Europe, as I have mentioned before does not have our oppressive social engineering on smoking and opposition from the EU's 70 million smokers will be considerable.

With the financial crisis and the smoking ban the EU will be the best recruiting sergeant for Euroscepticism.

December 9, 2010 at 12:12 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Sorry Pat i.m just a 'normal' Peter James

December 10, 2010 at 6:51 | Unregistered CommenterPeter James

Still on the right side tho so all's good.

December 10, 2010 at 13:07 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>