Three years after the introduction of the smoking ban in England a poll of over 1,000 smokers has revealed that three in five smokers want the smoking ban relaxed to allow separate smoking rooms.
The survey, commissioned by the Tobacco Manufacturers Association, also shows little support among smokers for extending the smoking ban to other areas - 62% would go less often to the pub if smoking was banned in all of the pubs’ outdoor areas.
Chris Ogden, chief executive of the TMA, said:
“We are recovering from recession and it is time to lift the legislative weight off struggling local businesses and their communities. The smoking ban has, contrary to claims from health organisations, severely threatened the £6 billion pub and bingo industry by negatively affecting thousands of people working in the hospitality sector who have lost sales, jobs and their livelihoods. Here is the evidence of how the smoking ban has impacted on Britain's pubs and clubs:
In the last year, almost 2,000 more English pubs have closed making a total loss of 4,148 since the ban in 2007 and over 10,000 jobs have been lost per year.
The rate of closures has almost trebled since the ban (1.1% 2004-7 versus 2.8% 2007-10).
7.6% of pubs in England and 20% of bingo halls have closed in total since the ban.
Almost 40 pubs are closing every week.
“The TMA supports an amendment to the legislation that would give landlords the choice to allow separate smoking rooms in pubs and clubs and we would encourage the Government to improve the legislation by introducing this proportionate amendment. Adult smokers should have available to them places where they may smoke without inconveniencing others and any review should be balanced, proportionate and take into account the likelihood of continued negative impact on business.”