May 30, 2017
by Forest EU

World No Tobacco Day: Smokers are treated like threats 365 days a year

World No Tobacco Day is taking place on Wednesday 31 May 2017 but Forest EU will fight for a tolerant society all year long.

For immediate release

BRUSSELS, 30 May 2017 – World No Tobacco Day is taking place on Wednesday 31 May 2017, and the usual anti-tobacco groups are all lined up to provide their soundbites.

On World No Tobacco Day more than ever, the smokers are the ones who are notably absent from the public debate.

Forest EU, the campaign to inform European smokers and defend their rights is having its launch event this very Wednesday.

Our core principle is the following:

European adults should be allowed to make the informed choice to get a legal product without excessive restrictions and taxes.

World No Tobacco Day, as a promotional medium for the World Health Organization (WHO), governments and anti-tobacco groups to advocate for reducing tobacco consumption, is just one well publicized day in the calendar.

But 365 days a year, all over Europe, 100 million adult smokers are being treated as second-class citizens.

Let’s talk about their over-taxation. Guillaume Périgois, director of Forest EU, said:

“In January 2017, an average of 79.6% of the price of a cigarette pack in the EU was duties and taxes. With many smokers coming from poorer backgrounds, those who earn the least have been hit the hardest by tax increases.”

Let’s also talk about how adult European smokers, making the informed choice to smoke, see their consumption over-regulated in the whole EU with smoking bans in ‘public’ places, display bans and grostesque health warnings. Périgois said:

“Policy makers are deliberately denormalising tobacco products, thereby actively ostracizing smokers from the community.”

Périgois concluded:

“Adult European smokers shouldn’t be treated like second-class citizens.

“The right of adult smokers to make informed choices about smoking a legal product should be respected.

“Forest EU will fight on for the rights of smokers and for the right of all, smokers and non-smokers, to live in a tolerant society where personal freedoms and responsibilities are respected. And we will do that not only on World No Tobacco Day, but every day of the year.”


About Forest EU

Since 1979, Forest has been the leading voice in defending the rights of tobacco consumers and tolerant non-smokers. As an advocacy campaign, Forest EU informs consumers about issues that affect them in the European Union and engages with stakeholders so the views of informed adults are taken into account within the EU’s decision-making process. Forest EU doesn’t encourage smoking and represents the consumer, not the tobacco industry. For more information, visit