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Should the smoking ban in pubs be repealed or modified ?

Should the smoking ban in pubs be repealed or...

I would guess that everyone has a pub or two amongst their clients.

We have noticed a huge change in profitability since the smoking ban, and of course increased beer costs are simply magnifying this.  Indeed we have just advised one of our clients that, in winter (out of the holiday season), they would do better to close Monday - Thursday and save on staff costs etc.  Prior to the smoking ban even winter nights were worth opening, but not now.   

They have a succesful food trade, but, in winter even that trade fell drastically following the smoking ban as smokers are not willing to stand outside in the wind and rain. 

The government is planning to rip up much of Labours legislation.  Should they rip up, or at least modify, this legislation, to allow pubs etc to have some provision for smokers without them having to stand outside, or, are we willing to see the  inevitable death of the traditional British pub?  

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11th Jul 2010 21:25

Why ...

... do you insist that we "forget the health issues" when responding to your question, given that the health issues were the sole justification for the legislation in the first place?

Clearly, if you disregard the health issues, there is no case for the ban.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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11th Jul 2010 21:44

Ban it

I would prefer to ban smoking totally.

I see no benefit in it and I see plenty of health reasons for smokers and non-smokers to justify it's banning.

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11th Jul 2010 23:16

Its not about "health" - its about which group shouts loudest

Unfortunately it seems some people cannot see beyond the narrow selfish "health issue".  I wonder, for instance, how you would feel if all meat eaters were banned from public places, and banned from the workplace?  After all, as a lifelong vegitarian I can tell you that I can actually smell people who eat meat.  I'm not kidding, the body odour of people who consume animal flesh is rank, overpowering, and revolting.

Another often forgotton fact is that one of the first acts of the facists in Germany was to ban smoking in public places - and look where that eventually led.

THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."

 

However, the point of this thread is NOT to discuss the moral rights and wrongs of state interferance in peoples free will, nor the health issues, which if believed should be extended to the abolition of aircraft, cars, etc. and the abolition of pesticides, plastics, and indeed any kind of industry including electricity generation. 

 

My POINT is that this ban has had a devastating effect of the traditional British pub, and, will see the disappearance of 80% of pubs within the next 10 years (LVA estimate).  The ban was ill conceived driven by political dogma and a vociferous single interest lobby group, namely ASH, and effectively trampled on the freedom of 30% of the population. 

The knock-on effect is that not only pubs are closing, but, that many other peoples livlihoods are being affected too.  For instance the entertainments industry can no longer give new acts much needed experience in pubs & clubs, the demand for slot machines has decreased, every pub that closes means many part time staff out of work, local butchers etc no longer suply the pub kitchens.  The list is endless.  And, of course, the closure of a pub can rip the heart out of small villages. 

It has also caused an increase in sales of cheap alcohol from supermarkets. Any police officer will tell you that this has caused an increase in underage drinking, AND, that people tend to drink more heavily at home and this is a factor in the increasing levels of domestic violence dealt with by police forces.

There is something rather pathetic about the anti-smoking taliban who lecture smokers about how "dangerous" they are, then go and get into their deisel 4x4's and people carries and pollute the road as they drive off.

It is OUR clients who are being driven out of business by this legislation, and it is time that a sensible view was taken and pubs allowed to have a designated smoking room. 

 

 

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12th Jul 2010 05:06

A Toyota Prius owner speaks

"There is something rather pathetic about the anti-smoking taliban who lecture smokers about how "dangerous" they are, then go and get into their deisel 4x4's and people carries and pollute the road as they drive off."

I know what is more pathetic. People who wish to do something that kills many people and act like they have a right to do so.

People can do many things without having to kill themselves and others at the same time. It's pure nonsense to say that people should lose their health so that there can be more slot machines around.

You know the level of the argument when they drag in fascists in Germany. They didn't ban smoking in public anyway. I suppose any attempt to improve physical fitness or animal welfare will be opposed "because it was one of the things the  fascists did in Germany" "and look where that led". No, I would prefer logic and not nonsense.

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12th Jul 2010 05:51

Health issues not alleged

My wife has health issues that have been directly linked to passive smoking so I find the use of "alleged" in this context offensive. Health warnings on cigarette packets no longer use "may". If the health issues are genuinely unproven then why are cigarette companies not fighting these in the courts any more? 

Your analogy of being able to smell meat eaters so meat eating should similarly be banned is a flawed one. Passive smoking is about more than smell. If meat eaters were exhaling clouds of meat, thus forcing you to ingest meat unwillingly (in the same way non-smokers are given no choice about inhaling cigarette smoke) then you might have an argument but they don't.

Your argument that pubs doing less business is a justification for lifting the ban is also flawed. To take that principle further, if it became legal to snort cocaine or inject heroine in pubs then I have no doubt they'd do more business then as well. Do you therefore think that saving businesses justifies that being allowed?

Bizarrely, despite all the above, I would be in favour of the ban being scrapped, but not for any of the reasons you cite. My preferred option is for smoking to be banned completely, or at least restricted to private residences only. However, I believe the tax revenues generated preclude any government from instituting such a measure. In the absence of that the existing ban actually makes things worse for non-smokers, not better. Entering and exiting shops and pubs I now often have to pass through clouds of smoke as smokers congregate around entrances. Outside areas of pubs are now almost entirely closed to me as they have become "smokers' areas" instead. People are more inclined to light up at bus stops as they view them as outside spaces and hence, a rare opportunity for a cigarette (smoking in a bus stop with a roof is actually against the law as it stands but there seems to be no effort  to enforce this) For these reasons I would prefer to see a return to designated smoking areas rather than the fudge of a ban we have now

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By DMGbus
12th Jul 2010 08:52

Not just smoking ban it's the national retailers too that are an

It's not just the smoking ban that has damaged the pub trade, it's the excessive market power of some national retailers undercutting pubs.

My solution to controlling retailers in this respect would be to reduce the VAT on supplies made for consumption *on the premises* to say 5% or 10% and increase the VAT on *takeaway* / retail bought alcahol to 40%.

My suggestion, I agree adds complications with extra VAT rates being introduced and would damage legitimate Off Licences, I'd be interesrted to hear of any way of reducing the damage to legitimate Off Licences (but perhaps they are an anachronism nowadays?).

As for smoking in pubs, if people don't smoke in a pub they'll smoke at home, so smoking could be accomodated in pubs in a properly designated area with extractor fans to ensure that a proper smoke free zone exists for non-smokers - no smoke drift into the smoke-free zone.

Tied pubs should be banned too, giving low-capital pub proprietors the right to buy beer and alcahol at proper prices.  If the pub tie system can't be banned then rent reviews on tied pubs should reflect the fact that a tied pub should pay very low (or no) rent to reflect commercial reality.

 

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12th Jul 2010 08:57

When the ban was introduced ...

... I have no doubt that the government expected some negative impact on trade.  They may even have gone to the trouble of estimating that impact and balancing it against the perceived health benefits.  Their prediction of the impact on trade may have been way off base, and if that is the case then it warrants further debate, although I would hesitate to predict the outcome of that debate even if the trade impact were shown to have been underestimated and a more realistic impact substituted.

But talking of health I have a healthy disrespect for statistics spouted by interest-groups supposedly backed by quasi-respectable authorities.  ASH and their cohorts are guilty of cherry-picking and puffing the figures, but then so are those on the opposite side.  It is rare to find someone sufficiently impartial for credibility.  Take for example the alleged 30% minority that represents the smoking community.  I work in an office of about 100 staff of whom 2 are smokers.  I live in an urban street in which everyone knows everyone and roughly the same proportion are smokers.  Asked to choose between some pontificated statistics and my personal (and sufficient) experience to the contrary I will go with my personal experience every time.  It may well be that the proportion goes up in the valleys of Wales, among the working class heartlands and among the immigrant population.  But on the other hand I also have no doubt that the proportion is going down among all demographic subgroups over time and will continue to do so.  The 70%+ and growing population of non-smokers still want to go to pubs.

I have not done the research but I am willing to bet that the drink driving laws have done as much to decimate the pub trade as the smoking ban.  Perhaps on the above logic these should be repealed as well, in the interests of rescuing the pub industry?

I also tend to discount arguments which I regard as over-egged hyperbole.  An unbalanced argument lacks credibility and risks that even valid points contained within it are tainted by the overall impression of unreliability. There is a natural and understandable inclination in the face of an overstated argument to overstate the opposing argument, but this can be counter-productive. The "death of the traditional British pub" as a species is far from inevitable.  Some have closed and some are no doubt yet destined to do so.  But in the end a new equilibrium will be achieved.  As each pub dies, so its local competitor benefits with the trade of those who, despite the smoking ban, continue to frequent pubs.  As over time an ever smaller proportion of the population smokes, so that equilibrium will change in favour of the pub trade.

I doubt that supermarkets selling cheap booze is a significant factor.  Economic theory would suggest that if customers are leaving pubs in droves to drink at home, the demand on the supermarkets would rise and the prices that they charge would rise to meet it.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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12th Jul 2010 09:09

This is more about you isn't it?

Your last posting stated that the thread is not to discuss the moral rights & wrongs of state intereference and yet in the same posting, and in asking the original question, you waste your breath and our patience slating the moral wrongs, as you see them.

I'm assuming your question was prompted by Brian Binley's EDM last week about having a review of the effects of the smoking ban on the pub & club trade, ie:

"Any review should consider a balanced and proportionate amendment to the legislation, which allows for segregated smoking rooms or areas within pubs, bars and clubs provided that effective smoke extraction systems of an authorised standard are installed, enabling smokers to be accommodated in comfort indoors without impacting on non smokers and staff whilst reducing intrusive noise to many who live close to such establishments, thus helping to safeguard the future of many in the licensed trade. And that any changes to the smoking ban legislation thereafter should be made on the basis of evidence, fairness, proportionality recognising the importance of such institutions to the nation’s social life and community wellbeing."

No mention of police state, down-trodden minorities (now 20% by the way), facists or even the pros & cons of health issues.  Surely, if your concern is really over the pub trade you'd have prompted a far more valuable debate had you asked the above question rather than rant on with your own reactionary views.

On the trade issue, change (I can see you cross yourself) brings winners & loosers.  Farmers and other industries have gone through change and many are saved by diversification and some lateral thinking (another crossing).  The pub trade now faces the same and some will go bust.  You could say that if you make your modest profits by attracting a 25% minority of the adult population then surely you should have a plan B?

I shouldn't waste my breath but have to respond to your "narrow selfish health issue" comment.  Despite the smokers, one of our local pub was brilliant.  We went there most Friday nights for 15 years and its success was down to its larger than life, fun-loving landlord.  Despite never having smoked in his life, he died from lung disease brought on from a life spent in pubs. 

Your views are obnoxious keep them to yourself and we might have a debate.

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By cupcake
12th Jul 2010 09:19

More issues at play

I think that blaming pubs' problems solely on the smoking ban overlooks a number of issues; as someone who does spend a fair bit of leisure time in pubs I can vouch for the fact that the pub environment became a lot more appealing once the ban came into force,  and indeed attracted people who may have been previously put off by having to ingest the fumes of others.

I think there are a number of factors at play: the drink-drive laws as mentioned before may have affected rural pub trade (although I don't advocate repealing these, and they have of course been in place for several years ), butI think the key issue is simply quality of product. We are in straitened times and people have to think more carefully about what they spend their money on. And unfortunately, far too many pubs don't seem to grasp the concept that they are not offering customers much of an experience: overpriced drinks, poor quality food, lack of bar staff at busy times, dirty or untidy public areas, poorly hygiened toilets, etc etc - I could go on.

Many pubs are not particularly welcoming for many, and several places seem to take their customers for granted by offering an overall poor quality service. And if you ignore the customer, your business isn't lasting long no matter what trade you're in. Perhaps pub clients that are struggling may wish to look at the underlying reasons for their failures rather than blaming the easy option of excessive regulation - I don't recall too many smokers in my local deserting the place after the ban, they just went outside and put up with it.   

 

 

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12th Jul 2010 09:32

Hilarious

"After all, as a lifelong vegitarian I can tell you that I can actually smell people who eat meat"

Ha Ha what a line. It would be so funny if it wasnt so ridiculous.

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By cupcake
12th Jul 2010 09:35

To be fair...

..since the ban highlighted the other 'pub smells' that were previously masked, I can certainly smell the emissions of those people who eat a lot of vegetables...

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12th Jul 2010 10:13

Paul & Peter

Your views are obnoxious keep them to yourself and we might have a debate.

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Posted by Paul Scholes on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 09:09

 

The above very clearly demonstrates the attitude displayed by the extremist minority. The fact that you have resorted to resort to personal abuse and to an anti-smoking tirade, when the question was actually about the wider subject of state interferance in the free market, simply demonstrates the weakness of your arguement.

 

______________________________________________________

You know the level of the argument when they drag in fascists in Germany. They didn't ban smoking in public anyway. I suppose any attempt to improve physical fitness or animal welfare will be opposed "because it was one of the things the  fascists did in Germany" "and look where that led". No, I would prefer logic and not nonsense.

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Posted by petersaxton on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 05:06

 

Perhaps a little research would be appropriate before you make incorrect sweeping statements.  The FACT is that the first example of state interferance in peoples freedom to smoke was seemn in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and early 40's.  

Perhaps this link will help -   http://constitutionalistnc.tripod.com/hitler-leftist/id1.html

Put simply, smoking was banned in public places. pregnant women and women under 25 were effectively banned from smoking at all, it was banned in the workplace, public buildings, buses and trams, trains etc. Then restrictions on advertising and later on who could sell tobacco were introduced  ..........sound familiar ?

 

An interesting piece of information is that whereas Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt were all fond of tobacco, the three major fascist leaders of Europe-Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco-were all non-smokers. Hitler was the most adamant,characterising tobacco as "the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man for having been given hard liquor."

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12th Jul 2010 10:32

Keep the ban

I only started enjoying being in pubs (and thus spending time in them) after the ban - and certainly wouldn't have taken my kids in a pub where people smoked. Smoking is a killer - I have family experience fo the impact of smoking on quality of life - and I don't want it inflicted on me and my chidren. Funnily enough, I was having this conversation with some friends who are smokers the other day - who said they like it more in pubs now there's no smoking! I know quite a few smokers (we seem to have more up here in the North than where I used to live in the South), most of whom don't smoke in their homes so why should they smoke in public places? If they can't live without it, surely having to go outside is a small price to pay to be allowed to conitnue to smoke?

Perosnally I would like to see cigarettes either banned or taxed out of existence. I'm sorry if the publicans are affected by the ban but, as a previous respondent said, they must have been more affected by the drink-driving laws but surely no-one on their right mind would want those repealed.

Cathy

P.S. Making a comparison with Nazi germany is a bit bizarre - I'm sure they had various laws which we would find wholy acceptable and which existed in countries that didn't end up doing what the Nazis did!

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By cupcake
12th Jul 2010 10:34

Re 1930s Germany and the UK pub trade problems

While I don't doubt the veracity of your historical information, I don't think that a link can be made between the actions of some raging, impotent little men who wanted to have overall control over their people and the strongly supported public health measure designed to make life a bit better for the general populace.  The use of the 'just like fascist  Germany' argument is often trotted out to defend a right-wing libertarian point of view and I'm not sure that has much relevance in the modern age (and yes, those that don't learn from history and destined to repeat it etc)

I'm not part of any 'lobby', just quite like to be able to go into public spaces and breathe clear air. And to get back on topic, I think that the pub trade malaise is down to more than just the smoking ban.

I've recently acted for two pubs: one run by an indolent character who shows no interest in getting out of bed before 9 am and who doesn't even know what his sales figures are, the other run by a couple who have years' experience in the trade and who offer what people want, ie decent beer, good food, good service at a decent price. The former is a City Centre pub, the latter more rural, and both have of course been subject to the smoking ban. Guess which one is successful and the other struggling.   

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12th Jul 2010 11:17

CD - I'm afraid you are wrong....

"The FACT is that the first example of state interferance in peoples freedom to smoke was seemn in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and early 40's."

According to the SAD (Smokers Against Discrimination) Ireland website: - 

http://sadireland.com/smoking1.htm

the first ever smoking ban was in Mexico in 1575, with lots of others between them and the Nazis.

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12th Jul 2010 11:29

Political facts

 I don't think that a link can be made between the actions of some raging, impotent little men who wanted to have overall control over their people

Posted by cupcake on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 10:34

 

What a perfect description of .....................Bliar, Brown, Mandleson, Prescott, Harman et al. 

 

My argument is NOT that the smoking ban should simply be abolished.  BUT, that some modification should be made.  For instance at present any "shelter" outside for smokers must be open to the elements on 75% of its sides.  How ridiculous is that? 

Surely "approved" extraction levels could be devised and pubs allowed to set aside rooms/shelters for smokers providing they meet these standards.  And dont think for one second that these measures had anything to do with health - they didnt.

The simple FACT is that if governments actually wanted to stop people smoking they would simply stick £50 per pack tax on cigarrettes.  Now ask yourself why dont they? Because instead by sticking 10p a pack of tax they know that after a week or two smokers will swallow the extra cosat and continue smoking the same amount. A few may quit, but, the extra tax taken from the rest makes up for the loss of tax and the government manages to rake in the same total amount. 

If every smoker quit tomorrow the country would be in an economic crisis. 

Just like petrol tax.  If every motorist could be pursuaded to simply stop driving can you imagine the chaos?  Public transport would be overwhelmed, industry would have no workers as they would all be standing at bus stops, and the treasury would be in crisis. 

So - does government want us to stop smoking?  Does it want us to be "green"? Of course not, the nation cant afford it. 

  

 

 

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12th Jul 2010 12:05

Dirty Habit

I believe smoking is a dirty habit and the health issues as a result is just horrid. The health issues put a strain on the health service.  I also believe the same with regards to drinking but I cant stop people from doing it.

Having said that, if I dis-regard the health issues of smoking, I believe it has contributed the the decline in the pub industry. Coming from a town where half the pubs have closed following the ban, it would be hard to believe that it hasn't contributed. Also , we have some pubs as clients and as mentioned, profitability has declined.

Being a non-smoker, and given what I said in my opening sentence, I feel that the only fair way to sort this out is to bring the "smoking room" back into play. I don't know how much it would help but it seems fairer than pushing smokers out onto the street.

 

 

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By bobhurn
12th Jul 2010 12:22

Reverse the ban

As someone who has the misfortune to live adjacent a pub, I wish that the no smoking ban would be reversed.  This would lead to dinkers returning to drink inside the pub rather than on the doorstep where their constant foul langauge is audible.  Better still keep the ban and ban alcohol as well, the social cost of drinking is far beyond that of smoking.

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By SteveOH
12th Jul 2010 12:34

The ban was originally brought in under H&S legislation

by the previous government. It was supposed to protect the staff from the effects of customer smoking. In both my regular pubs ALL the staff smoked and we had the ridiculous situation where they had to go outside for a ciggy due to the very legislation that was designed to protect them.

At the time I thought that alternatives to an outright ban would be:

 - pubs to be either smoking or non-smoking, with the choice being left to the landlord. Maybe a big "S" sign outside the pub (extra revenue for signmakers:))

 - all pubs to be non smoking save for inside designated smoking areas/rooms with suitable extractor fans.

 - pubs to advertise for staff by stating that it was a smoking or non-smoking pub.

I'm sure that there are many other ways of accomodating smokers without the draconian measures that we have now.

And all this from a non-smoker.

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12th Jul 2010 12:31

Me again

The OP has asked a specific question, stick to it, or don't answer it.  I can't believe that as professionals you cannot read a question and simply answer it; why so many of you have to jump to conclusions and write deliberately provocative responses is beyond me.  Why can't you all just get along?  It will plague me till my death I expect.

A reminder of the question: "Should the smoking ban in pubs be repealed or modified?"

If you do not want to provide a straighforward and reasoned response then don't respond at all.  On the other hand, if you do write a response which contains your opinion then do it in a considerate manner which is sensitive to the views of others, and anyone reading it should accept this as well. 

Any comments hereafter which do not answer the question in a reasoned and considerate manner will be removed.

If you cannot have a healthy debate what is the point of posting at all?

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By cupcake
12th Jul 2010 13:14

OK, to answer the OP

Do I believe the ban should be repealed? No. Call it selfish but I way,way prefer pubs they are now.

Modified? Possibly, depending on the circumstances. If there is a properly definable 'area' for it then it can work, but many pubs will just not have the space available.

The tenet of the OP however is that the ban is damaging pub trade. This may be true in some cases but my point is still that there are other issues. We had the worst winter in years last year - did that stop people venturing out to the local? People are having to be careful with their cash a lot more due to the recession - that must have had an effect?

Only a personal straw poll I know, but my local was way quieter in December last year than the year before - both years were under the ban. So what caused this drop in trade? Additionally, I have not heard more than a very small number of smoking regulars saying that the ban was causing them problems or making them less likely to visit the pub.

Whether it's a nice day outside, price, whether you've been made redundant or not, and simply whether it's an inviting place to be - these and many other factors make up why pub trade can fluctuate.

Of course, there is always a balancing act between taking enough tax revenues and acting in the interest of public health, and we could be here all day about both. I personally think - as a drinker - that action should be taken to limit public drinking by increasing supermarket prices - which is another contributory factor in pub sales declining, but I suspect that would warrant a new thread of its own!   

  

 

 

 

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12th Jul 2010 15:35

cyrynpen

Having said that, if I dis-regard the health issues of smoking, I believe it has contributed the the decline in the pub industry. Coming from a town where half the pubs have closed following the ban, it would be hard to believe that it hasn't contributed. Also , we have some pubs as clients and as mentioned, profitability has declined.

Being a non-smoker, and given what I said in my opening sentence, I feel that the only fair way to sort this out is to bring the "smoking room" back into play. I don't know how much it would help but it seems fairer than pushing smokers out onto the street.tooltip();

 

Posted by cyrynpen on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 12:05

 

At last - someone doing as asked and actually looking at this from an accountants point of view rather than as a smoker/non smoker. 

The fact is that this ban is a major contributory factor in the decline of the traditional pub.  Drink drive laws had already had a disproportionate effect on country pubs as the only way to get to them was to drive,  Tesco's etc had already had an effect with their "cheap booze" policies which meant it was actually cheaper for pubs to buy spirits from the local Tescos than it was from the brewery.  The smoking ban, particularly for the country or village pub has proven to be the last straw.

Has anyone actually considered the larger picture?  When a pub closes the village loses perhaps the only place other than the local post office (if it still has one) where residents meet.  It's not just the publican who loses his livlihood, but many locals find themselves without part time income from cleaning, tending the pub gardens, etc.  Local trademen also lose the pubs business.

My point is that something must be done to rescue the pub trade before it is too late.  Modifying the smoking ban to allow dedicated smoking rooms, or, at the very least, wind and rain proof smoking shelters, would be a sensible step.

 

 

 

 

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12th Jul 2010 15:36

Off topic but excercising the right of reply

After all, as a lifelong vegitarian I can tell you that I can actually smell people who eat meat"

Ha Ha what a line. It would be so funny if it wasnt so ridiculous.

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Posted by JCresswellTax on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 09:32

 

Not "a line" - A FACT.  I suggest you speak to any vegitarian.

Also meat eaters are far more likely to have bad breath - http://www.kissmegoodnight.com/bad-breath/bad-breath-food-eating.shtml

And, read it and weep  - vegitarians are better lovers too - http://www.eatveg.com/veglovers.htm

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12th Jul 2010 15:51

News to me!

I have never, ever, heard that before about meat eaters smelling bad! It isn't very well publicised.

I do notice when people have eaten garlic, or lots of spicy food, though ;)

As an aside, I used to give my horses garlic ... it keeps the flies off ... but you could smell it when they sweated after heavy work.  :(

Back to the subject .... as a smoker I am tempted to say bring back the smoking rooms ... but as I have tried to kick the habit (and failed) for many years, at least the ban has cut my intake. I would prefer to keep the ban in public buildings (for health reasons only, because I would prefer the majority of my clients to stay alive), but sincerely hope they don't ban smoking altogether. Someone will have to scrape me off the ceiling if that happens.

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By pembo
12th Jul 2010 15:58

Like it Becky...

a healthy debate about the effects or not of smoking...

My view for what its worth is that smoking is a complete red herring ( no pun intended) as are the D/D laws....  they've just accelerated the inevitable decline of a once great tradition that is due to many factors...like most things its either adapt or die...many out of town traditionals have been bought by specialist chains who've invested huge sums in makeovers into really atttractive relaxed places where the grub is both fantastic and affordable ...but the numbers have to stack up to make it worthwhile....unfortunately where they don't and are stuck with the old style model they're dead in the water and its potentially very sad for many rural areas that has been all too evident in recent years....in larger town centres Cafe culture and Wetherspoons rule...

There are of course like everything notable exceptions...my favourite pub bar none is called the Cresselly Arms in Cresswell Quay Pembs...the place is a time capsule with no food and original 1940's decor ...it just happens to be in one of the most stunning locations imaginable and probably does enough trade on Fridays alone through the summer to keep it going the rest of the year...also helps to be owned by the Lord of the Manor...

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12th Jul 2010 16:16

Pembo

I'm not sure I agree with you about the cause of decline in country pubs.  I still think that smoking bans, cheap supermarket booze, and possibly also the ridiculous licence fees deanded by satelite TV to screen live football (which large town pubs can pay but small village pubs cant afford), have more to do with it. 

However, I do agree that in towns & cities firms like Wetherspoons are doing to the traditional town centre pub, exactly what Tescos did to the corner shops, independent grocers etc.  Oddly their "drinking emporiums" remind me of supermarkets too - cold, souless, impersonal, selling second rate pre-packed rubbish (microwaved meals) and "standard" beer (all gas & no flavour).

 

Perhaps it's an age thing, but I feel that I have lived through Britain at it's best - 60's, 70's 80's when people were allowed to live their lives - and now I'm living throught its final decline into a souless insignificant little island off the coast of mainland europe.  

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By cupcake
12th Jul 2010 16:43

Totally agree with the 'quality' aspect...

...but at risk of the record getting stuck, that's what I've been saying all along. I hate Wetherspoons and their ilk and avoid them all like the plague, but what do they do? They provide cheap booze for people. If the demand wasn't there, they'd shut. That's a separate issue from the smoking issue.

A pub that offers something its clientele want, whether its marketed by price or otherwise, will do well. Places that overcharge to dish out poor quality food and booze by surly staff in a dreadful atmosphere won't do at all well, new laws, repealed laws or not. It's the 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares' idea.

I know of a fantastic pub in the middle of nowhere about ten miles from me; it has great beers, superb food, friendly staff, and they've been absolutely packed every weekend for years. Why? Because they do what they do very well. No changes in leglislation are going to alter their bottom line. Again, if demand wasn't there, they'd shut.

That's the accountant's view. My 'other head' view is that I'm happy to live in a time when I can enjoy my (pub) life without breathing noxious fumes. Indeed, maybe it is an age thing. 

 

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By pembo
12th Jul 2010 17:44

say soulless

to most people under 40 and they look at you blankly...its not something you can explain you either have the empathy or you don't..

Cardiff City Centre like so many others is now a complete no go area at weekends... its all about getting off your face as cheaply as you can and puking in the gutter at midnight after some handbags stand off with some other retard ...and for that I firmly blame the stupid misplaced liberalism of the last 20 years that positively encouraged the under 25 crowd to let their hair down by getting off their faces as quickly as they could rather than channel their energies into comparatively harmless but oh so offensive activities such as raves ...

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12th Jul 2010 17:45

Change happens

I too agree that you can not hang your hat on just the smoking thing, there are many aspects and surely it's better to advise pubs how best to operate under changing conditions that sling mud & bile at a law that has, at its heart, the purpose of saving lives. 

I tend to agree with CD that there's a lot to say about the way of life in the 1760s to 1780s, pre industrial revolution.  We have developed since then but are we improved?

Finally, off topic again, I'm vegan and CD, you need a nose operation (or a bath)

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12th Jul 2010 18:23

Paul

Finally, off topic again, I'm vegan..........

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Posted by Paul Scholes on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 17:45

 

Which explains a lot ..... including the pointed ears.

 

And for all those meat eaters out there ..............

McDonalds raises its own beef - it fattens up the livestock and kills it ............... and it does exactly the same to its customers.

 

OK, back to pubs. There are several contributory facts to their demise, BUT, there remain two questions -

Are they a part of the British way of life that is worth saving ?If so, how do we go about it, and is it really right that 25-30% of the population are effectively denied any in which they can enjoy a drink AND a smoke?

And there is a point that everyone seems to ignore.  Competition etc are "natural" causes of business profitability fluctuations, things which all businesses constantly adapt to.  The smoking ban was different in that it was government imposed - overnight 30% of pubs customers were effectively told - "you're second class citizens, we consider you dirty and we dont really want you here". 

 

 

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12th Jul 2010 18:36

Paul & CD

I note you are both animal lovers so are your cats & dogs vegan or vegetarian too, or do you give them their natural diet?

ps. I am not having a go ... I am genuinely curious.

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12th Jul 2010 18:47

Back to subject

OK, back to pubs. There are several contributory facts to their demise, BUT, there remain two questions -

Are they a part of the British way of life that is worth saving ? If so, how do we go about it, and is it really right that 25-30% of the population are effectively denied any in which they can enjoy a drink AND a smoke?

And there is a point that everyone seems to ignore.  Competition etc are "natural" causes of business profitability fluctuations, things which all businesses constantly adapt to.  The smoking ban was different in that it was government imposed - overnight 30% of pubs customers were effectively told - "you're second class citizens, we consider you dirty and we dont really want you here". 

 

Posted by cymraeg_draig on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 18:23

My opinion:

1.  Pubs are worth saving, but not at the cost of others health paying the price for their survival.

2. You can still enjoy a drink AND a smoke ... just not in a public house.

3. Public Houses are not the only trade/profession to suffer at the hands of legislation and as to them being told they are effectively second class citizens, 'dirty' and unwanted .... where did that come from ???????

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By SteveOH
12th Jul 2010 18:52

From CD

And, read it and weep  - vegitarians are better lovers too -

Now I KNOW you're 'avin' a laff:)

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12th Jul 2010 18:52

Where can you enjoy a drink and a smoke?

"is it really right that 25-30% of the population are effectively denied any in which they can enjoy a drink AND a smoke?"

Well, CD, you really have got me there. I'm sure I can't imagine anybody sitting at home drinking and smoking. It surely can't be that easy to answer your question? Maybe there's a catch somewhere? Did Hitler have a drink and smoke at home?

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12th Jul 2010 19:07

Home alone ?

Well, CD, you really have got me there. I'm sure I can't imagine anybody sitting at home drinking and smoking. It surely can't be that easy to answer your question?

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Posted by petersaxton on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 18:52

 

And wasnt THAT exactly the answer to those health concious individuals who wanted to drink without being exposed to smokers?   Or are you again saying that non smokers have more rights than smokers, and that smokers shoudnt be allowed out?  Are you aware that a few months ago some muppet tried to sue his (semi-detatched) next door neighbour and sought an injunction stopping his neighbour from smoking in case it found its way through the adjoining wall?  How long before some befuddled judge opens the flood gates by granting such a ridiculous order?   

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12th Jul 2010 19:10

ShirleyM
Paul & CD

I note you are both animal lovers so are your cats & dogs vegan or vegetarian too, or do you give them their natural diet?

ps. I am not having a go ... I am genuinely curious.

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Posted by ShirleyM on Mon, 12/07/2010 - 18:36

 

I'll happily answer that.  No, my animals are not vegitarian, and I would not force my beliefs onto my family either.  Unlike anti-smoking zealots I dont force my beliefs upon others.

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12th Jul 2010 19:50

Thanks, CD

... for satisfying my curiosity :)

That answer brings up lots of new questions ... but I'll keep quiet and stick to the topic posted!

Care has to be taken over giving some people priority over others, and is to be avoided where possible, but non-smokers are just a nuisance to smokers, whereas smokers can cause health damage to non-smokers.

I smoke, but since I learned of the effects of passive smoking I am always conscious of the effects on others. I think there may even be a case of preventing smoking in your own home if you have young children. I don't smoke in my own home (I go outside, even in the middle of winter), because my husband has given up smoking (on health grounds) and it would be selfish to subject him to my bad habit. The good news is that it has reduced the amount of smoking I do.

There is always a silver lining ... if you care to look for it.

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12th Jul 2010 19:58

rights and wrongs

“are you again saying that non smokers have more rights than smokers,”

“and that smokers shoudnt be allowed out?”

Smoking is so bad for people that it is reasonable for society to curtail or ban its use.

Do non-heroin users have more rights than heroin users? Do non-murders have more rights than murders? Can’t you see that the legislative process is a legitimate way of improving society. You may not like the legislation but it is democratic.

Saying that you should be able to smoke in a designated room or at home isn’t enough unless smokers contribute a sufficient increased amount for health care. What about children who are exposed to the smoking of parents? Is that acceptable?

There appears to be several factors leading to the less pleasant pubs closing. I see no reason to make the country less healthy in a futile attempt to prop up uneconomic pubs.

 

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12th Jul 2010 20:02

Nuisance?

"non-smokers are just a nuisance to smokers"

Do you mean that you have to consider their health?

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12th Jul 2010 20:17

Sort of ...

I mean non-smokers have to be avoided when you want to have a smoke ;)

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12th Jul 2010 22:42

Interesting facts - since people keep bringing up the "cost" to

 

Income from tobacco taxes - £8.1 billion/year  (source Politics.Co.UK).

NHS spending of smoking related disease - £1.7billion/year. (sounce Money.msn.co.uk

According to ASH - which is a rabid anti smoking organisation - Income from tobacco taxes was £8.3 billion in 2008/9, and even its inevitably exagerated costs to the NHS were only claimed to be £2.7 billion.

So - if every smoker stopped tomorrow - the government would be faced with a FIVE AND A HALF BILLION POUND defecit - or, about 6% of the total NHS budget.  And, on top of that, factor in the extra pension costs of all those smokers living longer.

FACT - no government can afford smokers quitting.

Does anyone actually still believe that it was done for "health" reasons ?

 

And one last point.  "If" it was done for health reasons, then tell me, why is there ONE place in Britain where it is STILL LEGAL TO SMOKE IN THE BARS?  That place just happens to be ............... The Houses of Parliament.  The one place you and I can't go for a drink - but our hypocritical lords and masters can.

 

 

 

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12th Jul 2010 22:56

Footie or pubs? You decide

@CD: the ridiculous licence fees deanded by satelite TV to screen live football  

But without the licence fees, there wouldn't be as much cash to keep your beloved premiership afloat. Swings & roundabouts again...

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13th Jul 2010 06:03

Fact and fiction

"And one last point.  "If" it was done for health reasons, then tell me, why is there ONE place in Britain where it is STILL LEGAL TO SMOKE IN THE BARS?  That place just happens to be ............... The Houses of Parliament.  The one place you and I can't go for a drink - but our hypocritical lords and masters can."

Smoking is only allowed in the outdoor areas:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70509-0004.htm#07050994000010

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13th Jul 2010 06:15

Strange question

"Does anyone actually still believe that it was done for "health" reasons ?"

By "it" do you mean the ban on smoking in public places?

Why shouldn't it have been done for health reasons? Smoking is unhealthy. Are you denying that?

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13th Jul 2010 09:53

Dont believe all that you read Peter
Fact and fiction  -   Smoking is only allowed in the outdoor areas:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70509-0004.htm#07050994000010

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Posted by petersaxton on Tue, 13/07/2010 - 06:03

 

The FACT is that this was a separate decision, not enforced by law. The damning passage by Lord Brabazon is - "Although the legislation does not apply formally to the House". 

So, we have government imposing laws on the nation, but, being exempt from those laws itself.  And, as I correctly stated - it is still LEGAL to smoke in the bars in the Houses of Parliament.   You can be prosecuted for smoking in a bar - legally speaking NOTHING can be done if anyone smokes in the Palace of Westminster.   Certainly there was no smoking ban being observed in the Strangers Bar only a couple of months ago.

Incidently, hypocrisy also rules north of the border too as there is a designated smoking room in the Scottish parliament building (illegal in the workplace or in pubs).

Also the bars in the House of Commons are exempt from the licencing laws,

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By pembo
13th Jul 2010 10:46

P&L analysis

the key question with things like this is if someone suddenly invented it now would it be allowed..? Smoking ??? are you having a laugh..???.....

mere cost/benefit analysis to the treasuries of the world...keep killing yourself guys and gals because not only do you save us all a fortune in pensions you also subsidise the basic rate of tax way beyond the cost of the NHS treating all the nasty things that can and probably will happen to you....just do not pollute my air space with it and please do not throw your fag ends out of the car or any public place for that matter as that really does annoy....

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13th Jul 2010 11:03

Slander too

They are subject to the same smoking rules in the H of P as the rest of the country. It's just that the legislation isn't enforceable there.

It's the same as the rules of slander.

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13th Jul 2010 11:13

One rule for them, another for us.

It's the same as the rules of slander.

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Posted by petersaxton on Tue, 13/07/2010 - 11:03

 

And false accounting - if certain MP's applications to the court are to be believed.

 

 

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By pembo
13th Jul 2010 11:41

and being allowed to

talk complete b******s every time their lips move...what really gets me is that they really do genuinely expect us to swallow it...a friend was (emphasise the was) a friend of a quite well known politician...the thing that amazed was the extent to which he actually genuinely believed the rubbish he was spouting even though he knew it was just political posturing...the spin really does become reality ...

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13th Jul 2010 11:47

One rule for them, another for us.

You are so right, CD.

But I don't think that it is limited to the anti-smoking legislation. The MP's expenses is another example, they can claim business expenses that are denied to the rest of us, I could go on, and on, giving other examples, but I won't! I think everyone on here knows the reality.

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