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Related tags: Smoking ban, Smoking

Smoke-ban has killed the pub The economics of running a community pub mean that most are one-person operations, unable to employ additional staff to...

Smoke-ban has killed the pub

The economics of running a community pub mean that most are one-person operations, unable to employ additional staff to overcome problems induced by the smoking ban:

The ban has killed the pub atmosphere - customers no longer enjoy the craic shared by smokers and

non-smokers alike.

Access, entrance and escape routes are blocked and access to the pub has become more intimidating as large groups of customers gather in doorways.

The ban has increased disorder as customers no longer sit and talk, drink, smoke and relax - many are agitated, carrying drinks from one door to another.

We are unable to observe customers, as required under the Licensing Act, as they are outside or even off the premises, and we have no control over drinks/drugs use. In the past, no one used drugs on my premises - now we can't control usage or tell whether they are smoking tobacco.

We are unable to guarantee public safety when the public are drinking/gathering in the dark at the roadside.

We are unable to comply with Nuneaton Borough Council's designated no- drinking zone as customers who go outside with drinks move off to the next pub.

We can't ensure safety for children as there are more of them around the premises and we are often unable to tell whether they are supervised.

We have little or no control over numbers on the premises - if large numbers of smokers are outside and it rains, they return to the pub en-masse - and customers with drinks can't be refused entry.

The tension which was removed by introduction of extended hours and the new Licensing Act has returned; non-smokers taunt and provoke smokers causing a bad atmosphere.

Staff face extreme pressure as they are required to make decisions regarding their own safety away from the bar.

The smoke ban has produced no reduction in smoking or health benefits: customers are smoking just as much outside.

While the weather has not been good, it has been warm. In winter community pubs will lose customers and close; most will not reopen as community pubs.

For those remaining heating costs will rise substantially in winter when the doors are open.

Terry Leedham

The Lamb & Flag

Nuneaton, Warwickshire

Time to think positively

Antony Worrall Thompson does nothing to enhance the reputation of our industry ("Top chef says no to signage", MA, 19 July 2007).

His latest outburst about smoking-ban signage and refusal to abide by the law smacks of self-publicity.

But it does have a deeper impact - as licence-holders we are duty-bound to obey the laws of the land.

The smoking ban was passed by a duly-elected parliament in a democratic country, although he may not like it the vast majority of citizens do.

He mentions 12 million smokers - what about the 48 million non-smokers? Government statistics state that more than 90% of smokers would like to give up. The fact that they find it so difficult just demonstrates nicotine's powerfully addictive qualities.

As a smoker himself, he can't be unaware of the dangers and should be promoting the no-smoking campaign.

If the smoking ban does nothing else but discourage young people from becoming addicted, it will be worthwhile.

If Worrall Thompson feels he is being treated like a child, it's time for him start acting like a responsible adult - he can design his own signage as long as its message is clear.

Our industry is moving into a new era: 24% of the UK population smoke, while 76% do not.

A massive market is within our reach - and it's up to us to ensure that we make the pub the place to visit by providing high-quality products and service.

It's time to stop giving airtime to doom-mongers such as Worrall Thompson and concentrate on the positives.

Peter Killin

sent via email from peter@the smugglers-inn.co.uk

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