Low public support aids Scottish licensees' smoke ban fight

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Related tags: Total smoking ban, Total ban, Scotland, Smoking ban, Scottish parliament, Executive

Scottish publicans have condemned the Scottish Executive's proposal to ban smoking because they say only 20 per cent of the public are in favour.The...

Scottish publicans have condemned the Scottish Executive's proposal to ban smoking because they say only 20 per cent of the public are in favour.

The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA), which represents 1,500 pubs north of the border has called on the Scottish Parliament's Health Committee not to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces because it says - according to the Executive's own research - only a fifth of the general public want a total ban on smoking.

Patrick Browne, chief executive of the SBPA, said: "We hope the Scottish Parliament's Health Committee calls last orders on the Scottish Executive's ill judged plans for a total smoking ban in Scotland."

"Scottish public opinion doesn't support the Executive's plans with less than one in five people surveyed in an Executive opinion poll supporting a total ban without any exemptions. The research on which the Executive made its decision to proceed with the ban is itself fatally flawed."

Instead of a total ban, the SBPA wants three years to ensure that half of all floor space in Scottish pubs is non-smoking.

Mr Browne said: "Scotland's licensed trade has already put forward a five-point plan which would deliver 50 per cent of floor space within Scottish pubs as non-smoking in three years and which would ban smoking where and when food was being served.

"That proposal gives the industry time to take its customers with them in delivering smoke free areas rather than risking the loss of thousands of jobs and the closure of hundreds of pubs if the Scottish Parliament proceeds with the Executive's total ban."

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