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ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section

ALE Spring 2004 No. 313

Pick your survey

A BBC survey of 9,000 for a programme called Your NHS: For Better or Worse found 73% of British people want smoking banned in all public places.

A poll by This Is London (26-Jan-2004) found that 56% would not support an outright ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and cafes. (18,000 respondents)

However a survey organised by the London Health Commission found 60% wanted a "mainly smoke-free" cafe society, while 64% backed a restaurant smoking ban and 43% wanted smoke-free pubs and bars. (30,000 respondents)

In conducting such surveys, the key question is sometimes 'ban smoking in public places' rather than 'ban smoking in pubs' - a big difference. [an error occurred while processing this directive]

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CAMRA's position

CAMRA has signed up to the Charter for Smoking in Public Places. The Charter, announced in the 1998 'Smoking Kills' White Paper, is a close co-operation between the hospitality industry and the Department of Health. It is based on using market forces and customer choice to drive change and involves five smoking options which enable customers to 'vote with their feet' if a pub, restaurant or hotel doesn't meet their needs.

CAMRA's research showed that:

Choice is the key issue for consumers and Charter-compliant pubs tell customers about their smoking policy before they enter the premises, so if they don't like the policy, they can easily choose to go elsewhere.

CAMRA believes:

The Government is perservering with self-regulation for now. Culture secretary Tessa Jowell says the Government doesn't want to ban smoking, agreeing that a voluntary approach is the way forward. In June 2003 the industry estimated 63% of pubs in England and Wales were compliant with the Charter.

Meanwhile...

The Laurel Pub Company has started opening a chain of no-smoking pubs across the UK under the "Phoenix" banner, after striking success with four trial no-smoking pubs. The group has ten no-smoking pubs so far and plans 60 by the end of the year.

Pub group Eldridge Pope intends to introduce non-smoking areas in all its managed houses.

In Glasgow, the City Council's Community Safety and Health Sub-committee has ruled smoking should be banned in pubs with children.

Ireland's smoking ban has provoked the inevitable mixed reactions and some entrepreneurship (e.g. importing canopies to cover a sudden demand for outside drinking areas).

Tim Martin, founder and Chariman of JD Wetherspoon, has stirred things up by saying the Government should ban smoking in all pubs by January 2006 as he can't risk going it alone with JDW.


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