Tuesday 24 May 2011

Scottish Pub Bosses Fight to Relax Smoking Ban


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.



  1. Nah, the option in 2006 was to build in provision for extremely ventilated rooms (as they have in the Netherlands). Scotland got to bring this in before England because it's H&S at work. It's not a health directive aimeds at the smoker bur removing a hazard from the bar workers' job.

    800 pubs shutting is a terrible loss. But, if they were relying on the sort of clientele who would rather sit at home smoking with a carry out rather than be in a non-smoking pub, maybe that wasn't the most solid basis to build a business on.

    I know many of the type of pub that wsa meant ot have died when the smoking ban came in that are still as alive and kicking as always.

    I don't remember them coming round and offering the government more taxes when they were in clover.

    And, anyway, the 'crunch' has had a more noticeable effect on pubs than the smoking ban did.

  2. I love it evry time I go past a pub thats closed down.I stll remember the none smokers saying the pubs will all be full of none smokers. Where are the none smokers on the evenings now? Yea sat at home watching Coronation street just like they did before.I used to blow around 50 quid a week in the boozer I have not been in a pub for 4 years. Let the assholes who wanted the ban support the pubs. like tandleman says fkuc them all.

  3. The end of pubs in the UK is now complete. They are cafe's now that serve the occassional pint. Pubs now stink of 'burnt' fat, BO, cheap perfume and kids soiled nappies. Great! Enjoy!.