It said it would give pubs and clubs the choice to open smoking rooms, provided they are “properly ventilated and physically separated from non-smoking areas”. It added: “Workers must not be required to enter smoking areas except for cleaning and other essential purposes when they are not in use.”
A poll by think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs earlier this year found that 51% of the public agreed that pubs should be allowed to have private rooms for customers to smoke in, while a PMA survey of readers in 2012 found almost seven out of 10 licensees wanted the legislation to be amended to allow smoking rooms in pubs.
Other UKIP pub policies announced included offering tax breaks to smaller breweries to encourage the start-up of micro-breweries and keeping the current excise duty scheme that exempts from duty cider and perry made by small domestic producers.
The party claims these measures would help reverse the trend of pub closures, that has seen 21,000 pubs and tens of thousands of jobs lost since 1980. It said the smoking ban and the alcohol duty escalator are estimated to be responsible for 6,000 pub closures.
UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall, who launched the policies, said: “UKIP believe that the pub is the beating heart of our communities. They are integral to the way this country is perceived abroad and are a mainstay of our lives. A good pub can be many things, and a diversity of public houses enriches our society.”