New consumer freedom campaign launches website
Consumers opposed to excessive regulations have launched a website that will defend the rights of adults to eat, drink, smoke and vape without disproportionate government intervention.
Action on Consumer Choice (actiononchoice.org) will feature news and commentary highlighting the latest threats to consumer freedom. Campaigners say they want the site to become a focal point for adults who believe in freedom of choice and personal responsibility.
The website has been launched to combat legislation and proposals designed to restrict people's right to consume what they want without undue interference from politicians and public health campaigners.
Campaigners are concerned that having been banned from lighting up in pubs and clubs, smokers are now threatened with bans on smoking in outdoor public places.
Following the tobacco display ban and the introduction of plain packaging, smokers also face a ban on menthol cigarettes.
Users of electronic cigarettes face bans on vaping in many public places as well as restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes.
Public health lobbyists want the government to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol and there have been demands for increased taxes on sugary foods and drinks.
There have even been demands for plain packaging and health warnings to stop people "over-eating".
Launching the new website, Simon Clark, director of the smokers' group Forest that manages the Action on Consumer Choice campaign, said:
"Enough is enough. It's time to put consumer choice and personal responsibility back on the political agenda.
"The freedom to smoke has been eroded to such an extent that anti-smoking campaigners now want smoking banned in outdoor public places including beaches, parks and beer gardens.
"The zealots in charge of public health are also targeting other products such as alcohol, sugary drinks and convenience food.
"Even the e-cigarette, a potential harm reduction product, is threatened with restrictions that could severely limit the choices available to consumers."
Rob Lyons, campaigns manager for Action on Consumer Choice, said: "It's crazy that governments think it's appropriate to dictate how and what we eat, drink, smoke or vape.
"If we're to defend consumer choice we have to start with an unabashed defence of our right to indulge in so-called bad habits.
"Anyone who believes in individual liberty should check out the campaign and register their support."