Ashes to ashes

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Related tags: Smoking, Cigarette

Smoking will be banned in pubs from this Sunday. To mark this historic occasion, we talk to the people most affected... you! It still seems hard to...

Smoking will be banned in pubs from this Sunday. To mark this historic occasion, we talk to the people most affected... you!

It still seems hard to believe no one can light up in an English pub next week.

Smoking and pubs have gone together like ham and eggs for the past two centuries and more. Plumes of smoke trailing round drinkers and drifting upwards to nicotine-stained ceilings are the very stuff of pub-going.

Millions of customers have drawn as much pleasure from their cigarettes and cigars as they have from their pints and gin and tonics - and firmly believe the two activities are indissolubly linked. And, of course, licensees have been as fond of a puff as their customers.

Now they will have to slip outside to indulge their habits, and the pub will never be the same again. It really is the most fundamental shift ever in the history of the licensed house - and no one is sure yet what impact it will have on the trade.

Over the coming pages we take a look at what the ban means to pubs and how the trade has prepared to welcome this new dawn.

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