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Forest has criticised plans to extend the smoking ban in Wales to outdoor areas including hospital grounds, school grounds and playgrounds by summer 2019.

Forest has called for an independent "root and branch" review of the impact of all tobacco regulations introduced in the UK since 2010, including plain packaging and the behind-the-counter display ban.

Reports suggest Minister for Health Simon Harris will today ask for Cabinet approval for a proposal tabled by Fine Gael Senators.

Attempts to reduce the amount of smoking on TV and in films would be a “gross attack on artistic freedom” and a “worrying attempt to rewrite history”, says Forest.

Forest has criticised the opinion of a leading advisor to the European Court of Justice after he announced that the EU ban on the sale of snus, a smokeless tobacco pouch, is "valid".

"Why would any government want to undermine the future of a product that may encourage smokers to quit voluntary and without coercion?"

Forest has urged NHS Grampian to allow the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices on hospital grounds.

"As a mental health patient your independence is inevitably restricted. Banning smoking adds to the loss of autonomy."

A ban on smoking in al fresco dining areas would be "unfair and unreasonable" and will "do nothing to improve public health".

Forest has criticised proposals to extend smoke-free areas in Greater Manchester and introduce licensing of tobacco retailers.

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"Tobacco is not an illegal substance yet the government is persecuting a minority. I think that's a disgrace in a social democracy."

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