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Jul 25, 2014

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English propose smoking ban

Measure would end smoking in most pubs by 2008

Nov 16, 2004 - Smoking could be banned in every cafe, restaurant and most pubs in England by 2008 under plans unveiled by the government.

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The White Paper on Public Health plans to make most enclosed public areas, including offices and factories, smoke-free. The proposals go further than had been expected.

The proposed regulations:

- All restaurants are to be smoke-free.
- All pubs ands bars preparing and serving food will be smoke-free.
- Other pubs and bars will be free to choose whether to allow smoking or to be smoke-free.
- In membership clubs the members will be free to choose whether to allow smoking or to be smoke-free.

Smoking will still be allowed in pubs which limit their food sales to snacks such as crisps, rather than prepared meals. However, this is still further than the voluntary measures that had been considered by ministers.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said a smoking ban based on food seemed "designed to drive pubs back to the days when they were drinking dens."

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) meanwhile, warned that the ban will be divisive for community pubs. Community pubs will face the choice of tearing up their food menus or alienating regulars by banning smoking.

CAMRA is still pushing the Government to allow pubs where there are two or more entirely separate rooms to allow smoking in one, while other rooms where food is served are made smoke free.

"While it's clear that smoke in pubs needs to be managed, these proposals threaten to split the pub trade, creating polished smoke-free eateries for the middle classes and smoking dens for everyone else," said Mike Benner, CAMRA chief executive.

"The problem is that committed smokers may well switch their custom to small community pubs which don't serve prepared hot food and the resulting fug may alienate other parts of the local community - no one enjoys sitting in a smoke-filled room," he said. "It's quite possible that small community pubs, which rely on beer sales rather than food sales, will tear up their menus to make sure their smoking regulars are not driven away.

"It is the small community local which is likely to bear the brunt of these proposals should they become law."


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