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Slashing funding for smoking-cessation programmes makes “perfect sense” says Forest

Tue 26th December, 2017

Forest has defended councils that have reduced spending on smoking cessation services while investing in tobacco companies.

Responding to a report that councils have cut millions of pounds from stop-smoking services while investments in tobacco companies have increased by hundreds of millions of pounds over the past five years, Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

“Investing in the tobacco industry and reducing funding for stop smoking services are completely unrelated.

“Councils have a duty not to waste public money and it would be silly to rule out investing in a legitimate and traditionally profitable industry.

“Cutting funding for smoking cessation services also makes perfect sense. Demand for stop smoking services has fallen by over 50 per cent since 2010 so it’s a complete waste of money to maintain funding at previous levels.

“Instead of using expensive public services, smokers who want to quit are increasingly switching to e-cigarettes without the need for any state intervention. That’s great news for taxpayers who shouldn’t be expected to pay for smokers to stop.”

See: Local councils cut millions of pounds from stop-smoking services while investments in tobacco companies soar (Independent)

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