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Thursday
May042017

Brussels bound, again

At the end of this month we're hosting the official launch party for Forest EU.

The event takes place on May 31 at The Staff 42, a stylish bar restaurant just yards from the European Parliament.

By coincidence May 31 is also World No Tobacco Day.

Last year I was in Brussels on WNTD and I couldn't help noticing that the Smokefree Partnership, a coalition of tobacco control groups that includes ASH and Cancer Research UK, was hosting a reception to mark the Tobacco Products Directive and 'plain packaging progress in the EU'.

Naturally I endeavoured to get an invitation – but they didn't reply (sob). Instead I spent the evening watching football in an Irish bar off Avenue Louise.

I can't say Forest EU is the direct result of the Smokefree Partnership's little soirée. It did give the project the kick start it needed though because our long-term goal is to create our own coalition that is the antithesis of the anti-smoking lobby in Brussels.

Whether we succeed remains to be seen but if you'd like to join us in Brussels on May 31 and help make our voices heard it would be great to see you. Click here to register.

PS. Last week I was in Brussels to attend the launch of Students for Liberty's Consumer Choice Center.

Next week I am returning for the first Nanny State Index conference. After that it's the Forest EU launch party.

How ironic that just as the UK is preparing to Brexit I find myself semi-resident in the heart of the EU!

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Reader Comments (3)

Did I hear that smoking is only allowed outside on a terrace? If so, I wonder whether or not a smoking venue could be found. They are available in Belgium but are they suitable for such an event?

I think that like vapers should support vaper friendly conferences where they can vape inside, then so should smokers support smoker friendly venues and that isn't forcing them outside. Going outside in a country that has facilities inside for smokers seems wrong at an event to promote smoker choice and tolerance.

It could also send a message about civilised behaviour to Govts across Europe especially our own which is the worst in its treatment of smokers on this continent.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 16:34 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

@ Pat

If they could find a venue actually inside the parliament buildings, they probably wouldn't have a problem. As I understand it, MEPs are allowed to smoke in their offices, and there are many smoking areas inside, unlike everywhere else, where it's "do as I say, not as I do".

I hope the launch is a success, Simon. If I wasn't so far away, I would have attended.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 19:27 | Unregistered Commenternisakiman

Well, I think everyone in attendance (and elsewhere in virtual support) should light up a smoke or fire up a vape in rejection of World No Tobacco Day! Beyond that, I agree with Pat Nurse, we really should start to boycott antismoking facilities and demand accommodation.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 23:43 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

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