Trade hits back at smoking criticism

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public places charter, Awareness

Pubs must raise awareness by advertising their no-smoking areasThe trade has defended claims that it is not doing enough to attract non-smokers after...

Pubs must raise awareness by advertising their no-smoking areas

The trade has defended claims that it is not doing enough to attract non-smokers after coming under heavy fire from anti-smoking campaigners.

Oliver Griffiths of Atmosphere Improves Results said that rather than not doing enough to attract non-smokers, pubs were simply not publicising their no-smoking areas.

"People who rarely use bars and pubs are unlikely to realise that the industry has increased the percentage of pubs with smoking restrictions from 23 per cent to 39 per cent," Mr Griffiths said.

"They will also not notice that newer pubs tend to be much better ventilated and that the busiest ones are often the ones with the best air quality."

He went on to say that pubs needed to "advertise clearly and forcefully that they have smoking restrictions and/or good ventilation".

He suggested that this could be done through implementing the Public Places Charter on smoking that would tell customers what the pub's policy was before entering the premises.

Last week, Robert Cole, a campaigner for no-smoking areas in pubs, said pubs were being shunned by up to two-thirds of the population because many still did not have no-smoking areas.

This week, David Reed, campaigns director for Yorkshire Action on Smoking and Health, added to the calls for the trade to act more responsibly, saying that licensees who had banned smokers or restricted smoking areas had increased profits.

New research by Athens University in Greece, has shown that one in five heart attacks in non-smokers could be triggered by passive smoking.

This research means it is important for pubs to have a clear smoking policy because of the risk of future legal action by staff who have been subject to passive smoking.

Meanwhile, the Charter Group looks set to announce the results of a study into the implementation of the Public Places Charter in early October.

Failure to reach the target of 50 per cent of pubs complying could mean that the industry faces government regulation or a blanket ban on smoking.

All pubs have to do to comply with the charter is display signs which make people aware of their smoking policy.

Related topics: Legislation

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