The body which represents Scottish publicans, The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), is to hold talks on how it can campaign for a relaxing of the ban on smoking in public places five years after it was introduced. The meeting that takes place in Edinburgh will see the SLTA take the advice of licensees from Hungary, Croatia and The Netherlands - countries which have banned smoking but have a more relaxed system of implementation and enforcement.
The SLTA have called Scotland's complete ban as 'extreme' and partly responsible for the closure of 800 Scottish pubs since the smoking ban was introduced in March 2006.
Chief Executive of SLTA, Paul Waterson said "We think it's appropriate, five years since the ban, to have a look at how it's working and perhaps re-evaluate it. We're flying over some people who are in the trade who have a far more relaxed system."
Waterson added that there wasn't any "appetite" for going back to the "old days", instead he hoped that there was some "room for accomodation."
I wish him well but given the current political climate against smoking in Scotland, I think I'll be ice skating in hell before the Scottish Government relax the laws on smoking.
The SNP Government says that tobacco "remains the biggest single preventable cause of death in Scotland" and that the party wants to take further action against smoking by setting "ambitious" targets to reduce smoking.
The Labour opposition are also against relaxing rules on smoking and want the Government to go much further than they have by tightening up legal loopholes and campaigning for a possible ban on smoking in cars carrying children as passengers.
I've always argued that a common sense approach to smoking in pubs was to have a differentiated two tier system of pubs in which there was an outright ban in some pubs and in others you would be allowed to smoke after a certain time. Both would be clearly signposted outside which would mean that punters and bar staff would make an informed choice on which pub they wanted to frequent or work in.
The chance to campaign for the implementation of this two tier system was in 2006 when the options of what type of ban was up for discussion. That horse has long since bolted and any attempt to get it back in it's box will promise to be fruitless and futile one.