Big push to get off the filthy weed

PUBLISHED: 12:20 25 August 2006 | UPDATED: 22:07 28 May 2010

I see that pubs, clubs and restaurants nationwide are feeling sorry for themselves and preparing for a massive slump in business when the ban on smoking in enclosed places comes into force next summer. Why? I know it is part of our national culture to whi

I see that pubs, clubs and restaurants nationwide are feeling sorry for themselves and preparing for a massive slump in business when the ban on smoking in enclosed places comes into force next summer.

Why?

I know it is part of our national culture to whinge about anything and everything, but this ban has worked well in Scotland and Ireland; and there is no reason to believe the English public will react any differently.

On top of that, the clampdown is inevitable, so owners of businesses which will be affected would be better advised to highlight the positive elements of the change rather than bleat about not being allowed to stay in the dark ages.

Surely the food and catering

industry can see that there is much to commend having a drink or meal in a pub in clean surroundings - that is without the air being poisoned by someone else's tobacco smoke.

And why should anyone have the right to sabotage someone's else's night out by blowing smoke all over them and their food? Why should families have to run the gauntlet of smoke-ridden pubs and clubs and be forced to accept the presence of a pollutant that is at best unclean and unpleasant and at worst life-threatening.

Many publicans claim the no smoking ban will drive customers away. I would expect - certainly after a few weeks when people see the ban is working - that trade will increase, as more and more people opt to spend their valuable leisure time in an environment that is vastly more welcoming and healthier than previously.

I know two Fenland publicans - who preside over two of the area's more successful watering holes - who can't wait for the ban to come into force.

They're canny enough to know what the punters want. And they certainly won't be the only publicans smiling when the healthy new dawn leads to healthier trading figures next year.

I have a feeling much of the complaining from the licensed trade is a sop to the smokers who, they fear, will feel aggrieved when the new law kicks in.

Ironically, I reckon many if not most smokers actually support the change. There must be millions who see this long -overdue revolution as the big push necessary to get them off the filthy weed for good.

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