So how has the smoking ban been for you?

June 30, 2008

smoking.jpgThis week marks the first anniversary of England’s ban on smoking in indoor public places. Hardly a puff has been blown in the nation’s pubs and restaurants since July 1 2007.

The health benefits seem clear —  a study by Cancer Research UK suggests the ban has contributed to a 5.5 percent fall in smoking rates in the first nine months after the law changed. That’s about 400,000 people.

Non smokers have had the pubs to themselves as the die-hards crush up in windswept, fag-strewn areas outside, savouring the superiority of the forsaken. They may be making all sorts of new friends in the long Summer evenings but Winter is on the way…

Publicans have seen their takings drop in general but many are fighting back by beefing up their food offerings as more and more people are tempted back into licensed premises to eat now the fug has gone.

What’s your take on the smoking ban one year on? 


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The smoking ban has led to a private club of diehard smokers setting up a private (no non smokers allowed) club where drinking and smoking go on at peoples private houses
we are sick of being treat as second class citizens.The knock on effect is going to be fatal for one of our local publicans as two customers a business does not make.I hope all the non smoking nambypambys enjoy having to drive to the city for a night out after they have ripped the heart and soul out of communities

Posted by adrian gant | Report as abusive

As one of the many who have given up, mainly because there is nowhere to smoke, I’m wondering where the Revenue is going to replace the massive amount of tax that smokers generate. Perhaps the non-smokers will not be so happy when they are hit in the pocket, to find the missing millions.

Posted by Graham | Report as abusive

The only good thing that Blair achieved! What a pleasure now to eat in a restaurant or have a drink without smoke drifting across your face or staring at filthy ashtrays.
Great news!

Posted by Roger | Report as abusive

INSANE… i dont mind smoking outside as i enjoy it, wherever i am, non-smokers can sit together inside if they must, but i still get mine

Posted by swanky_pirate | Report as abusive

Most of my friends are smokers or smoking friendly.
We have been meeting in each others homes.
All are local so no driving.
We have a laugh and sort the world out.
In the good weather, the outside lights go on and we have another place to sit.
Just to sit with friends and have a coffee and a cig. is a smal pleasure.
I have tried at different times to stop, so have plenty of people I know, it’s easy, staying stoped is another matter. I have given up, giving up, I am more relaxed now.

Posted by Deborah Mairs | Report as abusive

It’s a great pleasure now to go to the pub and watch a match without wanting to run outside after 10 minutes for some clean air! It’s great news that so many people have given up since the ban as well – it means a lot less cancers and heart attacks in future.

Deborah – please don’t give up giving up. When you’re with your group of friends next time, look around and consider that half of you will die from smoking if you carry on, on average 16 years prematurely. Try the NHS Stop Smoking Service – its free, local, and you’re four times more likely to succeed than going cold turkey.

Posted by Stewb | Report as abusive

How wonderful to be able to eat in restaurants without being forced to inhale foul carcinogenic fumes from nicotine addicts. I for one don’t care if people wish to have little smoking parties in their own homes, that’s up to them. Finally, the rights of people to breath cleaner air has been recognised. One of the very few things this govenment has actually got right on rights!

Posted by Adam | Report as abusive

Coming to England now and going to pubs and restaurants
is far more of a pleasure. It is also noticeable that the quality of the food has improved.Turnover and hence profitability will increase. Great news.

Posted by Robin Simons | Report as abusive

As an ex-smoker hoping that I stopped in time not to die horribly fairly soon (or at any time for that matter) I think the smoking ban is the one good thing this miserable government has done. In fact it is absolutely brilliant. You can have a glass of wine in a bar and it tastes – like wine! Amazing. And you don’t have to strip naked upon getting home, put every stitch in the washing machine and jump in the shower for half an hour of scrubbing. And, best of all, you don’t wake up with a dry cough the next morning. Freedom from the misery that smokers used to impose on the rest of us. To everyone who suffered from my smoking in the past – Sorry, I unreservedly apologise.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

As a non-smoker, I have to say that the lack of smoke in pubs and restaurants is a breath of fresh air (if you’ll excuse the pun).

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Here in Canada, they’re trying to tell us the same thing; that the bans are working and people are quitting. Anti-smoker groups point to declining cigarette sales to support that contention. But, the Minister of Public Safety was in the news recently, whining about the 1.6 billion dollars in taxes lost annually to sales of contraband cigarettes. Someone must be smoking all those contraband smokes.

Of course, since there are no First Nations in England from which to buy inexpensive tax free cigarettes, you probably don’t have a problem with contraband. But, I’m glad to hear that non-smokers are flocking to local pubs because of the smoking bans. Some fool has been trying to tell me that pubs have been closing by the hundreds in Scotland.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

I have never smoked in pubs or restaurants, so that part of the ban does not affect me. But the ban has transformed our village local into an ‘out-of-town eatery’ at enormous expense to the local community. Gone are the characterful old boys, along with most of the regulars. While it would be nice to believe the statistics being conjured up, I find it difficult to treat them with more than a pinch of salt. There again, it was inevitable that those that campaigned for a smoking ban would try to declare the success of their policies afterwards. For me, I find the social damage just too great.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

This is just ridiculous, i can’t do anything because im a smoker. Thus the reason i switched to CROWN7. I can smoke wherever and whenever i want with CROWN7. Thank god for them…has anyone tried them yet???

Posted by DAVEYBOY | Report as abusive

In 5 or 10 years time people will forget how things used to be and so too the debate will be long forgotten. Up and coming generations will be less liable to smoke as the influence will be reduced and smoking no longer the norm. This IS a good thing. Smoking is a choice but at the end of the day it is just a nicotine addiction. Why should it be treated different to any other addiction? Because of history? We need to grow up and move on. I find it hard to understand those smokers who say that the social aspect will be lost as they no longer go to the pub to socialise. Surely, they mean they no longer go to the pub to smoke? Which is more important, the smoking or the socialising? Can they not socialise at the pub without smoking all the time? The pubs will bounce back, old characters who no longer smoke in the pub will be replaced in time by old characters who don’t. Ultimately the pubs should do better as in time less customers will die early. Seems fairly clear to me.

Posted by Theo | Report as abusive

Pubs are now shutting down at a rate 7 times faster than before the smoking ban. The remaining pubs have turned into anti-social restaurants where nobody talks to anybody else outside of their party. The traditional British pub has almost disappeared. The only thing the anti-smokers every cared about was the smell. There seems to an “unhealthy” obsession these days to remove all odours, germs and visible dirt. Of course the deadly particles anti-smokers can’t smell or see, such as household chemical fumes, uv rays, furniture fibres and car exhaust particles are the things which are really killing them. But they cannot see or smell them so they blame smoking instead. There is as much poisonous arsenic in a cigarette as there is in a glass of water. Water must be very dangerous!

The cost of every smoker in the UK stopping tomorrow would be 7 TRILLION, yes TRILLION not BILLION, pounds over the next 30-40 years. This cost is made up mainly of the additional rest home costs and medical care required for these people as they would live longer into old age. This cost could not be placed upon business so it would have to go on personal income tax raising the basic rate of tax up to 45-50% of incomes.

We are still waiting for the BMA to provide genuine proof of passive smoking related diseases. They have yet to release any figures based upon actual cases. Hopefully when the NHS figures are more transparent we will be able to see the truth, instead of just accepting their dubious statistical claims of tens of thousands of people dying from passive smoking. Real science works all of the time as the smokers Newton, Rutherford and Einstein proved. Medical science is totally reliant upon statistics and only works 15% of the time or 27% of the time dependent upon how much bias they put into the figures. This why so many drugs they develop fail at the last clinical stages of testing or when they are on the market. Medical science is far from exact.

Health may be important, but it is not as important as freedom.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

As an Englishman living I France I can tell you this,
1 The café’s and bars over here are emptying just as fast as the pubs in England.
2 I came over here for a better life and the chance to have a cig for an extra year the weather is better here and foke just go and stand in the sun and shade outside.
3 The thing that really gets them mad is not the smoking ban not that a lot of them take notice of it, it’s the idea that why could not the bars decide for themselves to be smoking or not, some of the old boys are thinking about freedom and silly things like that, after all the fork over here do have first hand experience of having a dictator shove down your throat laws that you do not like
4 So many died so you can choose and this is what happens, so ok if you want a drink in a pub or bar and a cig go to a pub or bar that will let you smoke, let the non smokers go somewhere there is no smoke, but for the love of god do not be told what to do.

Posted by ian welsby | Report as abusive

Being happy and having some small pleasures in life are more important than living to be ninety stuck in a rest home ? amend the ban and save our pubs (and social lives ),they are soulless and empty places these days ,the traditional pub will soon be gone if something is not done soon !

Posted by Chris W | Report as abusive

It’s good to know that our highly paid expert advisors are not blinkered to all but their own fanaticism and that our Politicians have the ability to bring balance to the debate.
Sorry for that ……… I was trying to create some spin.
Social health and contentment are essentials and for many its been damaged beyond repair. Government appears to respect only the opinions of their ‘experts’ ignoring the electorate and their culture.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Well here we go again! As an ex smoker I feel that I am qualified to speak for both sides. Don’t get me wrong I am well rid of smoking and would never consider taking it up again after nearly 20 years, but I can empathize with those that do smoke. To me it’s all to do with what the real issue is here? Do we stop driving because of the death toll, do we stop drinking, stop junk food, stop sending soldiers to the Stan, etc. etc. The argument has once again been polarized by whoever controls the media, (Come to your own conclusions about that?) but what about partitioning pubs, smoke free pubs, smokers pubs, tell me why we can’t do this?, why can’t people be given the right to choose for themselves? isn’t that what our alleged democracy is about, or isn’t there democracy in the UK? If you smoke then I agree that you personally should pay more insurance, you do to drive a bigger, faster car! but what happens to the tax you pay on your cigarettes? To me allot of these arguments are Bull”it just politicians making a stance with people they want votes from yer yer I know what you’re thinking, but I believe there is allot of truth in what I am saying. I now live in New Zealand where there is no smoking in pubs. To be honest I miss my local and the pub culture in the UK which is not as strong here, but if I were living back in the England I would want the right to choose for myself. It’s great to get home at the end of the night merry and not stinking of smoke, but what is greater is the freedom to choose that.
The majority of the nation including MPs have never had the privilege to fight for the freedom of my homeland, so from my perspective don’t really understand. My message is simple, wake up people! demand the right to choice don’t be railroaded to choose one side or the other, choose choice!

Posted by mike miller | Report as abusive

I’m just about to give smoking up again for the umpteenteenth dozen time, I gave it up a few weeks ago for three weeks and did not even think of having one, then in a weak moment went and bought 10, I’m going on a long haul flight in another few weeks so I know I must give it up, the more I think about it I’m begining to smoke about 12 cigges a day, what a vicious circle.

Posted by Pauline | Report as abusive