Industry groups hit back at GLA smoke claim

Related tags Greater london authority London Smoking Public places charter

The trade has hit back at claims that the trade's voluntary charter on smoking is ineffective.A statement issued by the Greater London Authority...

The trade has hit back at claims that the trade's voluntary charter on smoking is ineffective.

A statement issued by the Greater London Authority (GLA) last week criticised the charter, which recommends the use of signage with no-smoking areas and ventilation where possible.

But industry groups have hit back at the statement, which they claim was over-critical and did not reflect all the findings by the authority.

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the Atmosphere Improves Results initiative were all left hugely disappointed by the comments and the committee's recommendations to change the charter.

"It's going to be impossible to reconsider the Public Places Charter at this stage," the BBPA's Rita King said. "If we have to go back and rework some of the finer details, we will not be able to press ahead with getting everybody to sign up."

The BII's Georgina Wald agreed. "Some of these recommendations are just not practical or workable," she said. "We can't go changing the charter at this stage."

But the GLA said that the agreement was unambitious.

"The current charter target of 35 per cent of pubs having non-smoking areas by January 2003 is in our view too unambitious. We would like to see all venues achieving at least non-smoking areas or ventilated smoking areas," it said.

Meanwhile, chairman of the trade's Charter Group Nick Bish said that the majority of the GLA's report was quite balanced. "Every operator should take note that the charter's success is being closely monitored, and those that haven't acted already should act now."

Charter changes

The GLA recommended a number of changes to the charter including:

  • an approved standard of ventilation to include the regular and independent checking of equipment
  • a requirement on charter signatories to have non-smoking areas, preferably ventilated, within 12 months of joining
  • government re-examination of a code of practice to protect workers from passive smoking.

Related stories:

GLA attacks 'ineffective' smoke charter (11 April 2002)

Related topics Legislation

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