One in five visit pubs more often after smoking ban

By John Harrington, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Smoking ban Need Want

Smoke-free: Over 20% of people visiting pub more often than before ban came into force
Smoke-free: Over 20% of people visiting pub more often than before ban came into force
More than one in five British people (22.4%) say they visit the pub more frequently than they did before the smoking ban, according to a new survey of 4,817 UK pub customers by Market Force Information.

The research, which comes five years after the English ban was introduced, also found that 70% of parents are more likely to take their children to the pub with them than they were before.

The research also found that three quarters of smokers feel there is still work to be done to make smoking areas comfortable.

The PMA reported this week how almost seven out of 10 licensees want the legislation amended to allow for separate smoking rooms in pubs.

Tim Ogle, Europe chief executive at Market Force, said: “Publicans have been hit by the economic downturn so it’s encouraging to see that despite the negative reaction to the smoking ban five years ago, it has had a positive impact on the sector.

“Publicans do need to remain mindful of the positioning of their smoking areas as our research revealed that 37.4% of potential customers actively avoid pubs with crowds of people smoking near the entrance.

"That equates to a lot of lost business and the industry needs to be sensitive to these concerns and ensure they continue to deliver an inclusive and welcoming service to all customers.”

He added: “Pub companies and publicans made significant investments when the smoking ban was introduced but our findings have shown that smokers are still looking for better smoking areas such as cover and seating. It is vital publicans listen to the needs of their smoking customers and keep their designated areas well maintained.”

Market Force found that two out of three smokers confirmed they had attempted to give up smoking and half of those have been successful.

Ogle said: “We’re still facing tough economic conditions and to stay ahead of the game pubs need to listen to what customers want.

“Feedback is crucial, and implementing the changes from this feedback is imperative. It is never too late; if publicans start to pay attention and respond to customers’ needs now, they will be sure to reap the benefits for many years to come.”

Related topics Legislation

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