Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has joined forces with the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign to highlight the danger of an extension to the smoking ban.
JTI is supporting the Best Creative Outdoor Area award in the Morning Advertiser's Great British Pub Awards 2010 to highlight best practice making the most of external areas to accommodate customers, including displaced smokers — and to spotlight the threat of a ban extension.
Launched last year with the support of TV chef and publican Antony Worrall Thompson and MPs from the three main parties, the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign is a coalition of groups and individuals who believe that the public smoking ban introduced in Scotland in 2006 and the rest of the United Kingdom in 2007 is excessive and should be amended to allow separate smoking rooms.
Campaign director Simon Clark said: "By supporting this award we aim to show our commitment to publicans who go that extra mile to accommodate all their customers, including smokers, throughout the year.
"Although we want the smoking ban amended to allow separate smoking rooms, we also want to highlight the fact that the ban could be extended to doorways and beer gardens with exclusion zones around many public buildings, including pubs and bars.
"Supporting the Great British Pub Awards gives us the opportunity to highlight this very real threat that could have serious repercussions for publicans and their customers."
Jonathan Yajima, JTI's Head of Horeca and Vending, said: "Our aim to help licensees improve the profitability of their business and accommodate all their customers, including the 10.5 million smokers in the UK.
"Therefore we are delighted to support both the Best Creative Outdoor Area award at the Morning Advertiser's Great British Pub Awards 2010 and the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign."
The Great British Pub Awards 2010 take place on Thursday September 9 at The Hilton, Park Lane, London.