Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) are proved wrong again

Five years after the smoking ban in England, the desire to reintroduce  smoking in pubs remains as high as ever. I will let the Publican’s Morning Advertiser take up the story.

“An exclusive survey of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser readership revealed 68.3% either agree or strongly agree that pubs should be permitted to have separate smoking rooms, in line with some European countries. Furthermore, six out of 10 felt there should be designated smoking and non-smoking bars.”

Even more interesting is this: “However, there was less appetite for a full repeal of the ban. Just four in 10 respondents agreed it should be scrapped.”

We only have to look at the closures pre and post ban to see why. From 1980 to 2006 pubs closed at a rate of 0.65% per year and 2.775% afterwards. Very much in contrast from those PHD Economists at ASH.

“Tuesday 25 February 2003

Smoking bans are good for business. Study shows hospitality industry fears of falls in trade are unfounded.”

ASH were also saying that the public were in favour of bans too. So for posterity here are some polls pre and post ban which begged to differ.

17th December 2003

“52% against smoking ban in Edinburgh. ” Paid for by Nicotinel who would gain from people giving up.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/capital-bucks-trend-on-total-public-smoking-ban-1-897602

5th August 2009

“58% of Tories want the ban amended for all pubs”

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2009/08/58-of-tory-members-support-relaxation-of-smoking-ban.html#tp

“73% of Tories want smoking ban relaxed in private members clubs.

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/.a/6a00d83451b31c69e20120a7d1a66b970b-pi

28 Jul 2004
More than 80 percent of pub customers in Wales are opposed to a complete ban on smoking in pubs according to a survey carried out for leading independent brewer, pubs and drinks company SA Brain & Co Ltd.

The independent survey of nearly 1,400 customers and staff found that only 19 percent of customers and 12 percent of staff support a total ban on smoking in pubs. There was, however, more widespread support for the provision of no smoking areas for eating and at the bar.

Around 42 percent of customers agreed that no smoking should be the policy in eating areas of the pub. Twenty-two and a half percent support banning smoking at the bar at 22.5 percent and 23 percent of customers said that they would spend more time in the pub if changes to the smoking policy were made. Around 83 percent said that the level of smoke was not a problem in the pub in which they were interviewed.

Of the total number of customers surveyed, 41 percent were smokers.
Retail director for SA Brain & Co Ltd, Philip Lay, said

http://www.sabrain.com/index.cfm?UUID=FFD5C6A8-2B30-CFB5-B7D7FD7905913320

“74% want exemptions to the smoking ban
Monday, 19 March 2007,
Three quarters of people in Scotland believe there should be exemptions to the smoking ban, a poll has suggested.  The Populus survey, for the pro-smoking group Forest, revealed 74% of 1,004 people surveyed thought private clubs should be allowed smoking rooms.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6464521.stm

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13 Responses to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) are proved wrong again

  1. Mr A says:

    Don’t forget that Mintel, which has no axe to grind, found that a lot of people wanted to live near a pub, yet (mysteriously?) pub attendance had fallen. They also found that 3 in 10 thought pubs were more pleasant since the ban. Strangely, the fact that 7 in 10 presumably did not (or did not care either way) was not highlighted as a possible reason for this falling attendance, despite people liking the idea of pubs as places to go. Still, the 30%/70% figures seem consistent with other (non-Tobacco Control) surveys.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9260481/Britons-want-to-live-near-a-pub-research-finds.html

  2. Ode to Joy says:

    Why did we get a blanket ban ?
    Why have we still got one ?
    Why is there no significant action to amend the ban?
    Simply, because the publicans,their customers,in particular ,smokers,
    just have’nt got the bollocks,the guts,the endeavour or organization to stand up to a tiny
    band of dysfunctional,middle class levellers
    History is full of these soothsaying Druids and dour sourfaced joykilling pests
    History also shows us the remedy for these malignant diseases,however unpleasant the medicine
    might be.
    Treatment required urgently

    patience exhausted

  3. james101 says:

    Not allowing pubs to have smoking rooms in cold, wet Britain means that those of us that smoke not wishing to stand outside are a minority unfairly discriminated against. Not having decent social lives we are treated like lepers and are totally excluded from Cameron’s Big Society.
    The Mintel report confirms that ten percent fewer people visit pubs now than in 2007 and with ten thousand licensed premises having closed their doors since I am sure that this is an under estimation.
    It continues to mean that hospitality and drinks industries must still be losing possibly hundreds of millions of pounds per year due to the smoking ban. I am amazed why they are not standing up for themselves.

  4. smokingscot says:

    Same story in NYC (9? years in). Same story in Eire (7 years). Ditto Italy (7 years).

    Both NYC and Italy allow smoking if the ventilation is up to a certain standard. But that costs a pile of dosh and there’s always a fear they’ll change the rules, thus wiping out that investment.

    What they all want is to stop the hemorrhaging as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.

  5. Several points:

    1) It’s amazing that with 80% of the population against the ban the Welsh Assembly Government was still driven by ASH’s pressure to implement it. See how weak their proposal was in my Critique of it (which they, of course, ignored) at: http://www.forces-nl.org/download/WelshReportCritique.pdf

    2) The pub closure rate in the five years since the UK bans then has been 400% what it was before the bans … and yet ASH et al claim the pub industry’s fears are “unfounded”??? What kind of drugs are they on?

    3) Effective ventilation is actually fairly cheap compared to what the pubs lose because of the ban. If a reasonable ventilation option were TRULY that expensive then there’d have been no need to impose the ban or keep it going. Simply state the standard, the same as for similar types of particulate and chemical exposures in ALL workplaces, and let it go at that. If the Antismokers are telling the truth about the standards and the expense then virtually no pubs would go back to smoking. Of course they’re NOT telling the truth, and they know perfectly well that any reasonable standards based on harm would, when applied to all workplaces, be met quite easily by a great number of pubs.

    – MJM

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Mike the standard was already set…………OSHA. I think the simple truth is it never reached any level that required any safety levels,whether they had air handlers or not. They could simply open a window or the door opening and closing.

      The proper standard to compare to is the OSHA standard for indoor air quality for respirable particulate (not otherwise specified) for nuisance dusts and smoke. That standard is 5000 ug/m3 on a time-weighted average (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) and is intended to be protective of health over an average working life of 30 years!

  6. JJ says:

    Grossly off topic – but do you have a contact address? Thanks Dave.

  7. james101 says:

    Now that would have made a good newspaper headline, Pub smoking ban causes increase in closures by 400%!
    The anniversary of the ban has only just past we are not too late for this I don’t think.

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