Nearly six out of 10 non-smokers will visit pubs in England more often after the smoke ban, a new survey has revealed.
Customer service research firm Retail Eyes also found that only one in three smokers say the ban will make them visit less frequently.
Two-thirds of the 4,119 respondents to the survey also claimed that the level of smoke affects their choice of venue; this was more of a consideration for women (68 per cent), than men at (61 per cent). However, 52 per cent of smokers will actively seek out locations with dedicated smoking areas, the research found.
The research also showed that 44 per cent feel intimidated or uncomfortable walking through a group of people smoking at the entrance to a pub.
As for what smokers look for in a smoking area, 34 per cent stated the most important feature would be that the area is well maintained. One in five stated the most important feature is that the area is warm and dry.
"Publicans clearly have many factors to consider in the run up to the smoking ban," said Tim Ogle, marketing director of Retail Eyes.
"Decisions about the placement of smoking areas and their features will have a huge impact on trade once the ban goes into effect. Those who make the right decisions will reap the rewards that greater customer satisfaction brings."