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Meet Guillaume Périgois, our new man in Brussels

Delighted to report the launch of Forest EU.

Yes, you read that correctly – Forest EU.

The project will be managed by Guillaume Périgois (above) who was formerly publishing director of Contrepoints, the largest classical liberal news website in France, and deputy director of New Direction, "the foundation for European reform". Prior to that he worked with trade associations, companies and think tanks.

Guillaume has a Masters degree in public affairs from the Political Sciences Institute of Bordeaux and a Masters degree in risk management from HEC Paris Business School. He's a French citizen who has lived in Brussels since 2008. We're delighted to welcome him on board.

The Forest EU website is launched today so you might want to pop over and check it out. More information and resources will be added before the official launch event in May.

I hope some of you will join us for that. In the meantime here's an edited version of our launch press release. You can read the whole thing here:

As the UK prepares to leave the European Union a smokers’ rights group founded in London in 1979 is launching a new chapter in Brussels.

The Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (Forest) campaigns against what it says are “excessive regulations” on smoking and tobacco.

Commenting on the launch of Forest EU, Simon Clark, director of Forest, said, “The war on tobacco has gone too far. Tobacco is a legal product yet smokers are being subjected to increasing attacks and restrictions on their habit. Enough is enough.

“Decisions made at EU level affect the lives of tens of millions of adults across Europe yet the revised Tobacco Products Directive, currently being enforced in member states, was introduced with very little engagement with ordinary consumers.

“As the UK prepares to leave the European Union we are delighted to be starting a new, EU-centred, chapter in our history. We will be bringing our trademark events to Brussels including smoker-friendly receptions and seminars. Our goal is to put consumers at the heart of the debate.”

Guillaume Périgois, director of Forest EU, said, “The role of Forest EU is to ensure that adults who don’t want to stop smoking are given a voice in Brussels and beyond. We intend to arm consumers throughout Europe with information and resources so they can engage with politicians and regulators at national and international level.

“The European Union has the power to set the agenda on smoking and other lifestyle issues. We hope that programme will focus on education not coercion. What we need is a liberal and pragmatic approach to tobacco that puts empathy above dogma and takes into account the views of ordinary citizens."

If you wish to follow Forest EU and receive occasional newsletters, click here.

You can also follow Forest EU on Twitter (@ForestEU_) and Facebook (click here).

To coincide with the launch of this new chapter in Forest's history we are also unveiling a new logo and brand identity for Forest UK and Forest Ireland. More on that tomorrow.

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Reader Comments (4)

Good luck. A fantastic proactive initiative. It's about time Forest expanded.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 17:22 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Good thing, but I'm afraid it's going to fight a useless fight. I mean, let's take the 'plain packaging' issue. What we have right now is 'de facto' plain packaging. What we've had for the past 10+ years with large warnings and medical porn wasn't far either. So you're going to argue in vain for the last 20% of the pack which is not yet covered in disgusting propaganda, when the real fight should be to have packs like they do in the USA. The fight should be directed against WHO - that's where all the corruption and junk science comes from. If it's taken as 'settled science' that smoking tobacco is more or less on the same level with plutonium as far as health is concerned, then you can't win on any of the issues.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 18:20 | Unregistered CommenterVlad

This is good news and the Forest EU site looks great. Now Forest has outposts in the UK, Ireland, and the EU. I look forward to future growth to combat the persecution of smokers elsewhere.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 20:55 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

Very impressive! I'm so pleased that Forest is expanding into the EU. Many EU countries (but not all, I realise) have a much more relaxed and tolerant attitude to smoking than the UK does, and so I suspect that there will be quite a lot of non-smokers over there who have become increasingly concerned about the vindictive nature of what the anti-smoking movement has turned into who will "tune in," and this in turn may just mean that more and more of them will become aware of the wider implications of the War on Tobacco than it seems the majority of non-smokers in the UK can be bothered to think about. And that's what we need - some folks from t'other side supporting us in our fight. No persecuted minority down through history has ever been able to change their situation without the active and vocal support of many members from the non-persecuted side. So, thank you, Forest!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 2:02 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

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