‘We don't need to go back to the days of stinking like a rancid ashtray’: Your reactions to pro-smoking group’s call to review smoking ban

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Stinking of ashtrays: Your reactions to the call to review smoking ban 10 years on
Stinking of ashtrays: Your reactions to the call to review smoking ban 10 years on
Around this time 10-years ago pubs and punters were nervous for the future of their local watering holes – with good reason. The smoking ban was days away from coming into force which, as predicted, changed the dynamics of pubs permanently.

Ten-years on, though, and attitudes have completely reversed, with many preferring the family-friendly gastropub that has proven to be so successful since the ban’s introduction.

As we approach the 10-year-anniversary of the policy, Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (Forest) published its reportRoad to Ruin? The impact of the smoking ban on pubs and personal choice ​yesterday (26 June).

In response to the findings, report author Rob Lyons said the Government should “order a full review of the impact of the legislation and consider alternatives to the current comprehensive plan”.

No more stinky clothes

However, reaction on the Morning Advertiser​’s Facebook and Twitter pages suggest that most would not like to go back to the old ways.

Caroline Langlands wrote on Facebook: “It's nice to come home from a night out not stinking of dirty fags,” with Alana Simpson agreeing, wrote: “We don't need to go back to the days of stinking like a rancid ashtray”.

Big difference

Others, however, appeared to recognise the harm the ban has done to the pub industry over the years.

Tim Parker, who describes himself as a “semi pro-musician playing the pub and club circuit for many years”, said he has noticed a big difference since the ban came in.

On Facebook he wrote: “Before the ban it was very easy to build a rapport over the evening with the audience.

“After the ban it's almost impossible if there are many smokers there.

“At one gig recently we took a break to join the smokers outside. The landlord was smoking too. There was 30 of us outside smoking, looking through the windows of a completely empty pub.”

Killed off ‘proper pubs’

Also commenting on Facebook, Paul Crisp said: “We were told our pubs would fill up with hordes of non-smokers. We're still waiting.”

Another Morning Advertiser​ reader, Johnny Tee, said he missed being able to smoke in the pub, claiming that “the ban has killed off proper pubs”.

“It should be [legal] to smoke in a boozer that doesn't serve food,” he wrote.

Dan Simpson simply said that it should be the “business owner’s decision”.

Related topics: Health & safety

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