The smoking ban in it's idea stage was a fair enough notion to divide smokers from objecting non smokers-though there wern't many of them until the smoke ban fever set in. But, when deliberating the implementation of the smoking ban not a thought was given to businesses, nor the smokers themselves.
Why were smokers suddenly leperised, thrown out onto the streets, cast from our hospitality sector en masse? Simple really. It is because the mass hysteria whipped up by years of carefully thought out propaganda had done its job...people now believed that SHS was more deadly than sarin gas! This has never been proven to be-and never will be.
This law suddenly created a massive divide among the people as smokers found themselves publicly ridiculed, abused, injured, even killed because of their chosen past-time. Non smokers now feel they have the right to castigate any smoker coming within 10ft of them-why? they cannot be 'infected' by SHS, it has been proven too many times to be harmless-unlike everyday vehicular toxicity-now there's a problem for governments to tackle!
Yes the smoke ban has created 'clean air' pubs & clubs-but at what cost?
More than 3,500 pubs have closed forever, including 37 unnecessary bankruptcies, 32 evicted homeless couples, 100,000 unemployed and, of course the not insignificant matter of 4 suicides by former business people unable to cope with enforced closures caused by this law. Some law!
The WMCIU, whom we strongly represent in all matters smoking, are now in dire straits as losses in bar takings are approximately £13.1m per annum. Gaming machine takings are well below that of 30 months ago & Bingo sales have fallen off the 'Richter Scale'! Clubs have resorted to 'line dancing' nights and 'Sunday market' type events to try and stave of the inevitable closures. The whole thing has got out of hand.
However, common sense is now prevailing as this ban slowly but steadily slaughters our economic structure. people do not go out to the pubs/clubs as much as they used to (nothing to do with recessions by the way-the 70's recession saw pub/club trade peak) because of the smoke ban therefore money in circulation is considerably lessened. The money that is spent on booze is finding its way to the likes of ASDA, Sainsbury'e, Morrisons etc. The first named is simply making WALMART 9American owned) richer by the can!
The WMCIU survey returned a resounding 98% in favour of CHOICE, ie, a smoking room set aside for their customers. Common sense prevailes. As Pub & Club Liaison Officer for freedom2choose.info I am appalled that the exemption for private clubs (Labour Manifesto pledge) was dismissed from mind. These clubs all have facilities to separate the two factions, why should they suffer so much hardship when the answers were already there? The primary reason of 'protecting the staff' has long since been exposed as a complete sham as most of the staff smoke themselves or are not bothered in the slightest about smokers; and the "no smoking at the bar" rule obviated any concerns they may have had.
Now we find an even wider survey that totally backs up the WMCIU survey as the Conservative Home Blog asked the question:-
"Should private clubs be allowed smoking rooms?"
A resounding YES from 73% of the respondents
Now this is not a survey for one institutuion to complete, this is a survey open to all people of this country, this is a Conservative website survey. This survey totally backs up the truth that CHOICE should have been afforded-and not only to private members clubs!
How many licensees run a one room pub?
How many licensees (if they do run the above) would be able to drop a simple 'stud wall' in and provide a connecting door?
How many licensees would welcome the chance to save their floundering businesses?
There should always have been choice for no choice was discriminatory from the outset. licensees who despised smokers could easily have put uop signs stating "This is a no smoking Establishment" and then watched as profits fell away. Those who erred on the side of caution could have easily signified "smoking & non smoking" areas within their establishment and those who know their traded too well could have simply had a sign stating "This is a smoker friendly Establishment".
What this devious government didn't tell the licensees was that 68% of regular drinkers are actually smokers! They live a more carefree lifestyle than non smokers, therefore by removing 68% of their business core what did they expect to happen? Or, were they too full of pomposity at the 'single biggest revolutionary step in health care' to even bother about that? Flint, Hewitt, Johnson all banged the drum that they had no evidence of harm to businesses but where did they actually look? Patagonia perchance? Not S Ireland or Scotland that's for sure!
30 months into the worst law ever implemented and we are in dire financial straits. people are not spending because they haven't got it to spend, they are not spending it on drinking & socialising simply because they are no longer an integral part of our social structure-they are social lepers.
Allow CHOICE and you will soon see pubs with customers in again, not pubs turned into family meal bars at pathetically reduced rates trying to turn round diners/tables at as fast a rate as possible. Me? I like 5/6 pints when I go out but can only eat one meal-with a glass of water thank you!
It is obvious that this law is wrong.
It is obvious that this law is unnecessarily killing businesses.
It is obvious that it is not saving lives as stress related heart attacks are rising due to unemployments caused.
The Conservatives will form the next government so let's ensure that 'home problems' are sorted out before we yet again try and set the world to rights!
Freedom of choice for all people-a basic human right
and figures don't lie!