back to article Yorkshire boozer establishes 'smoking research centre'

A Yorkshire boozer which last week established a "smoking research centre" has attracted the attention of Barnsley Council, evidently unimpressed with its vital scientific work. Kerry Fenton, landlady of the Cutting Edge in Worsbrough, converted the pub's tap room into a hub of nicotine-based research in which punters could …


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  1. Warhelmet


    The pub should rename to the Beagle.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    You could try this the other way around. Any genuine research & test facilities out there that fancy serving beer?

  3. Wize

    I hope...

    ...they are supplying appropriate PPE to staff and ensuring it is used.

  4. Richard

    I wish all non smokers were like Rob Hudson

    "Non-smoker Rob Hudson, who's been patronising the pub for 35 years, said: "I would rather come into a full pub than an empty room. I have the choice of the tap room and the lounge and I come in here."

    That's the kind of non smoker support we want. The pub offers a smoking section and a non smoking section. If a drinker doesn't want to be in a smoke filled room, they go into the non smoking room. This kind of person respects every smokers 'right to choose' to smoke indoors and not be told what they can and cant do, unlike a pointless and revenue losing nanny state piece of legislation that has done no good for the pub industry.

  5. Geeks and Lies
    Thumb Up


    Love it :-)....shame it's t'up north though :-(

  6. Cameron Colley

    You must be protected from yourself citizen!

    So, even people who want to go into a smoky atmosphere so much they'll fill ina questionaire and pay for the privileged aren't allowed to.

    I love living in a "free country".

  7. Jamie

    The smoking ban was done wrong.

    If politicians actually had any brains they would have come out with the idea that they add a tax for pubs/bars that want to have a smoking section. Then if the owner would like a smoke free pub they would do nothing and it would be smoke free. If however they wished to be allowed to have patrons smoke they pay an extra tax to have a section setup for smoking.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    License issues

    Looking forward to the place being shutdown due to breaking their license (as a pub not a research lab) and not having a license for medical research.

    The smoking ban is about the only good thing this government seems to have achieved!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Standing outside?

    Aww, diddums. My heart bleeds. If you find the weather too much, just quit your disgusting (and life-limiting) addiction. The smoking ban has been excellent, no more do I have to half my life shortened by self-centred puffers of cancer sticks when I fancy a pint.

    Nor do I come home reeking of their foul weed.

  10. jimbarter

    missing the point.

    The entire point of the regulations is to protect staff from breathing secondary smoke.

    I f a non-smoking member of staff refuses to serve in this room will they be able to keep their job?

    or will they have a case for unlawful dismissal?

  11. andy gibson

    Just a novelty

    and it'll soon wear off. The smoking ban is not to blame for the decline in the pub trade. Its shitty pubs serving equally shitty beer (usually a choice of Carling, Guinness and John Smith's). My locals, which have a nice atmosphere (no huge Sky TV dominating the rooms), do good home-cooked food and have a huge range of beer and decent real ales are packed almost every night, and they don't charge a fortune for beer either. Perhaps if pubs didn't fleece their clientèle for soft drinks (£1.50+ for lemonade or £2+ for a bottle of J2O) then maybe things wouldn't be so bad?

  12. Gareth Jones Silver badge


    It's about time you came to live in the real world. Pubs have been going to the wall in droves since well before the smoking ban was implemented.

    All sorts of explanations have been offered for this, (blame supermarkets for selling cheap booze if you want, many do) but essentially our use of leisure time is changing and people would, on the whole, prefer to spend their leisure time in places other than the local boozer. It probably doesn't help that the pub industry have decided to counter this by following one of two paths; either pretend to be a restaurant or become a location to watch foot on Sky Sports. If you don't want to eat or watch football, but actually fancy a quiet drink with your mates there are precious few pubs within miles of here which cater for you. It seems a curious business strategy when you are losing customers to try to alienate what probably makes up the largest proportion of your clientelle.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Re: I wish all non smokers

    It's all very well going on about choice but there was never a choice for non-smokers before the ban, if you wanted to go to the pub then the only option you had was a smoke filled room. Well now the shoe is on the other foot, now you have no choice, forgive me if I completely fail to feel any sympathy for you. Besides, you don't "choose" to smoke, you're simply deluding yourself. You are addicted, grow up and deal with it.

  14. Marco van Beek

    Next thing to try is...

    Bar Theatre. The exclusions state:

    "Where the artistic integrity of a performance makes it appropriate for a person who is taking part in that performance to smoke, the part of the premises in which that person performs is not smoke-free in relation to that person during his performance."

    So all we need is someone to write a play about some opium dens and smoking becomes a prop.

    And we all know about "Artistic Integrity" don't we, eh, eh. She a goer, eh eh, nudge nudge, know what I mean....

    Sorry, I'll get my coat...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    I agree whole heartedly with Richard

    I haven't set foot in most pubs in my area since the smoking ban came into force, the only time I do consider it is if the weather is good and there's outside seating, and it would seem most other locals feel the same way.

    In the last year I've seen four pubs in my area closed and / or put up for sale, including a couple of very big ones which prior to the ban where always packed full of people, after the ban though you could count the regulars on one hand because there was no space for outside seating facilities etc. Others have resorted to having free food and ridiculously low drink prices to entice customers, largely replacing their established friendly regulars with binge drinking college kids and the like.

    It really does sadden me that the traditional British pub is probably now gone forever.

  16. CockKnocker
    Thumb Up


    Lets try and scupper this rubbish law by getting all our local pubs in on the act, surely if enough pubs do this they wont be able to enforce this rubbish law! And before the anti-smoking brigade jump in on this as long as we have our own room and people have a choice to sit in smoking or non smoking there should be no problem. Its our choice if we want to smoke same as its yours not to. Each to their own! Lets get this rolled out nationwide!!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    well where else would an idea like that originate? ;)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My favourite trick of the government was to word the ban in such a way that smoking was not allowed in any circumstances.

    Hence the smoking booth in Edinburgh airport was removed. Now, the nature of the beast meant that no smoke ever escaped. Even when you were inside it, you couldn't smell smoke (other than from the cigarette you were about to light).


    Unlike in Holland where they've started to install these since their smoking ban...

  19. Simon C

    @Richard "I wish all non-smokers were like....

    One non smoker does not mind the stench and poison that fills the air. Sure its a choice.

    But the analogy I use when describing designated smoking/non smoking areas under the same roof is people pissing in a swimming pool

    The undesirable ends up in your area regardless of efforts to reduce it.

    Id support individual rooms, that are hermetically sealed.

    Since the ban I've actually frequented more pubs than before the ban.

  20. Adam


    So, pub finds a way around the smoking ban and business quadruples over the space of a few days.

    It is now clearly obvious that the declining pub trade is definitely being caused by cheap supermarket prices and absolutely not by the smoking ban.

    I wish these people all the best, I hope they give the council the shaft and pubs all over the country start following suit.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ashes to Ashes....

    Although a non-smoker, smoke filled pubs never used to bother me, and I thought the smoking ban legislation was OTT, however, on a recent trip to Spain and entering a smoke filled bar, I had to leave after a few breaths, it really was unbearable, sorry guys, no going back...

  22. Yorkshirepudding

    @ Richard

    i've not nowt agaisnt a smoking and non smoking section, as long as that filthy smoke doesnt float my way, a door and a large extractor fan will keep me happy. if smokers want their own room where they can riddle themselves stupid with lung cancer then go mad by all means. meanwhile ill be hammering my liver with another pint of blacksheep

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @Richard (re Rob Hudson)

    You're missing the point -- this Hudson chap clearly went into the "research facility" because he prefers "a full pub" to "an empty room". This supports the age-old argument that smoking and non-smoking sections don't work because smokers don't socialise purely with smokers, and non-smokers are often good friends with smokers. If there's a smoking room, that's the only place that's available to both groups, so that's where EVERYONE ends up....

  24. Damien Thorn
    Dead Vulture


    I will rent any pub hall as a research testing facility for 1p plus the price of being granted a research lab license, if the pub will supply the patrons beer.

    WE will be researching: the effect of smokers on computer systems using air cooling.

    Due to the time a smoker takes to affect pc equipment we will also be doing some tests for how smoke affects decorations.

    Staff will need to wear breathing aparatus, under HSE regulations, and applicants must sign a waiver against death caused by the experiments

    For more information post below lol.

    Tombstone: Because whilst we want to beat the ban, the result for many will be death. But as adults we can choose death ourselves, we dont need a nanny state telling us its bad, were not stupid, we know!

  25. Steve Adams

    (Why don't we) License smoking as well as booze

    I think we (should have) allowed pubs/clubs/bars/restaurants to apply for a smoking license much as (I understand) they do now for a booze license.

    These booze licenses are granted by local authorities/magistrates (right?) so different areas/regions/towns/villages could apply their own policies - and create a mix of venues as appropriate for their own residents, visitors and businesses.

    Venues which allow smoking should be clearly marked/identified (a big skull & X-bones on the door?) - and perhaps taxed more than non smoking venues (or maybe the non-smoking can be encouraged via rebates?) if we want to influence the behavior of people who haven't yet understood that smoking is stupid and dangerous.

    Anyhow.. this would allow locals to fix their own rules via an accountable local process.

    e.g. We could say up to 10% of venues get a smoking license. Must be renewed each year. Vote for changes if you don't like it.

    NB. I no longer smoke or drink alcohol - and I would encourage others to stop too - you'll be happier and healthier :-)


  26. Aaron Jacobs


    Good idea,

    Give a script out to everyone who enters:

    ROLE: You are a pub goer before the smoking ban

    Scene One:


  27. Anonymous Coward

    Research ?

    Some details are missing. The 50p can't possibly cover the cost of the beer. Are they paying for the beer ? If so, the place needs a license and is a Pub, not a research establishment.

    If they don't charge for the beer I think they stand some chance in court.

    Nice idea about smoking and non-smoking rooms but remember, before the ban pub owners didn't give a damn about non-smokers and in most cases both sections of pubs were smoking.

    As an asthmatic non-smoker I have no (absolutely none) sympathy for the landlords or smokers as after 24 years of unpleasant drinking in pubs/clubs I think I can have at least a decade or two in a pleasant environment. Had there been options before the ban (e.g. make the lounge bar non-smoking) then I'd have has some sympathy as long as staff were protected. Yes, pubs are quieter but it's not just down to smoking.

  28. Paul

    @Richard: blame the right people folks

    Before deploying the tired old 'nanny state' crap you should ask the pub industry why it so persistently avoided the many opportunities they were given to avoid any ban. The politicians really didn't want to annoy so many voters and prevaricated for 10+ years hoping they could sit on their expense cheating arses ignoring the growing clamour for action. It looks very like the pub trade relied on that reluctance and assumed no government would actually follow through on threats.

    The last option offered included increasing the number of separate smoking/non-smoking rooms, signage for smoking policies and a general improvement in non-smokers ability to avoid smoke in pubs. The targets were pretty modest. The response was overwhelmingly to just put 'smoking allowed' signs up.

    The pub trade played chicken with the government and lost. Blame the many landlords more interested in fighting change than improving their pubs.

  29. Anonymous Coward


    There is no direct link between the number of pubs going out of business and the actions of the governments but:

    They've increased the cost of drinking,

    They've increase the council tax costs on pubs,

    They've made it harder to have gatherings for political purposes in pubs,

    They've made it harder to put on live music in pubs,

    They've made a social addiction illegal inside pubs (smoking)

    They've made it costlier to put on live football in pubs (courtesy of Mr Murdoch)

    They've made it harder to have a drink and then drive home (I actually support their stance on this one!)

    There may just be a breakdown in people's desire to go to pubs, or drinking, but I seriously doubt it.

    Mine's the one with the CAMRA membership in the pocket.

  30. Tanuki

    The Klein-Bottle Bar welcomes outdoor smokers.

    What we need is some smart topologists to build a pub in the shape of a Klein-bottle - then the 'outdoor smoking area' is indoors as well !

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ban

    Smoke-filled pubs bothered me (especially when I worked in one - I remember one time we had a private function for a bunch of Greeks, who were smoking like chimneys, and they refused to have the windows open because it was making them a bit chilly. My eyes stang for most of that night, and I had to spend a lot of time outside), but the smoking ban went too far.

    What was needed was the requirement to have a non-smoking area in all pubs. The bar/s should be situated in non-smoking areas, to protect the staff (going into a smoking area just to collect glasses won't give you cancer, whereas constantly working in one may do), and non-smokers should be able to get to non-smoking areas without passing through a smoking area (so the non-smoking area would be situated at the entrance to the pub).

    The smoking areas should have proper ventilation to avoid smoke drifiting into non-smoking areas (in practice, this would mean large extraction fans above it).

    This may be costly for pubs to implement, but it's better than a wholesale ban on smoking in public places. The same goes for offices - why were smoking rooms banned when non-smokers aren't affected by them unless they go inside?

  32. Stu

    @Cameron Colley

    > I love living in a "free country".

    You mean a country free enough for you to take up valuable NHS bed space in a lung cancer ward in 20 years time!? No thanks.

    I think its right for SOME liberties to be taken away from those, esp those with obsessive disorders such as a smoking habit.


    -And I didn't even mention about how your habit might affect other peoples health around you.


    I support the smoking ban 100%, the only trouble is now a lot of pubs just stink of piss, instead of fag smoke!

  33. Paul

    I'm a non-smoker

    And I think it's about time we stopped this ban-everything bullshit and just enforce guidelines. Ventilation or having a smoking-only room isn't exactly hard to do.

  34. Tommy Pock

    Polite request

    It was all non-smokers' democratic right to demonstrate against smoking in pubs, and I have nothing but congratulations for you in succeeding in your noble cause. But now you've succeeded in having smoking banned from pubs, START USING THE PUBS, YOU BEARDED, SANDAL-WEARING, LABOUR-VOTING PUSSIES. Cheers dudes.

  35. KnowAll Coward

    Smoking & Whaling equally abhorred

    The Japanese have been using the "we only kill whales for research" excuse for years - seems to work for them.

  36. Frederick Karno
    Paris Hilton

    Being taught a lesson

    The smoking bans only achievement is to make lots of people redundant the myth that n0one smokers would make up the loss has been proven to be a myth.

    The only pubs that are buoyant have increased prices to compensate this has caused the none smoker to ineffect pay through the nose for a policy that was ill thought out.People who smoke are doing nothing illegal and room could have been made for all.The fact that Government have chosen to enforce this has just further ensured a holier than though attitude.

    There have been many flawed and statistically unsound assumptions made on the effects of smoking that have entered the main stream and are now believed,but when none smokers go past closed pubs i can assure you the majority of the 50 a week that have closed did so because of loss of custom this would have been prevented if all the non smokers had returned to pubs that were allegedly staying away.

    As a none smoker my motor vehicle produces far more of exactly the same carcinogenic substances as burning tobacco creates yet i dont see the same uproar about that i suppose it depends which companies lobby the hardest as to what type of government we get, and its amazing that through legal loop holes an MP can still get his subsidised to the hilt pint and smoke in the house of commons bar......doesnt seem fair to me even if it is within the rules but i suppose pales into insignificance with the impropriety they have shown over there allowances claims.

    I have lived long enough to know that when the majority force decisions on the minority it usually comes back to haunt them i think the smoking ban is one such case.

    Paris because they are actually reducing the tax drinkers are asked to pay in a bid to revive the entertainment sector.

  37. Hollerith

    The elephant in the room

    What is not mentioned is the drinking of alcohol. There are spasmotic outcries about 'binge drinkers' and 'girlies who drink to much--oh the chav shame' and all of that, but the UK has this big cloud of obfuscation where a cold hard look at drinking and its effects on society should be. Violence (in the home and on the street) is hugely alcohol-related, many car accidents are the result of a drunk driver, and I have seen in several companies bad decisions made by managers who are in fact ploughed by 3pm. Then there are the physical effects of drinking, which fill up the hospitals as much as cigarette smoking does.

    I'd like to think the decline of the pub relates to the healthier lifestyles of the modern Brit, where spending time with friends happens in homes or parks or other places and doesn't have to involve sitting in a place crafted to make them all drink, drink, drink. The social traditions of drinking (buying rounds, etc.) will also, I hope, slowly wither over time.

    Either that, or legalise all mind-altering substances, licence them, and be frank that alcohol, hash, coke etc are all there for people who like their reality fuzzy for a few hours every day.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Richard

    Amen fella, as an ex smoker with a smoking partner we have a similar agreement, if she smokes i leave the room, my choice, simple...

    Common sense prevails..On here at least.

  39. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Is it just a fine?

    Can they just pay a fine, or would they be shut down? Most bars in Iowa are smoke-free, but at least one got so much more business from allowing smokers they just pay the fines.

  40. An Unwashed Mass
    Thumb Down


    [quote] You mean a country free enough for you to take up valuable NHS bed space in a lung cancer ward in 20 years time!? No thanks.[/quote]

    At least us smokers will clear off out of the bed in, oh, say 6 months? How long are you non-smokers going to carry on costing in your 'healthy' old age? "Our taxes are paying for you to become an old, useless, whining burden on society"

    PS Nothing against non-smokers; it's all about choice and the respect of it

  41. Jason Bloomberg
    Black Helicopters

    @ Is it just a fine ?

    That's Iowa. This is the UK.

    It's probably a fine for smoking and a fine for allowing people to smoke. Probably pretty soon it will be a fine for "thinking about smoking", "going equipped to smoke", "belonging to or raising funds for a smoking organisation" or having "material likely to be of use by a smoker" if anti-terrorism legislation is anything to go by.

  42. Les Matthew

    I'd love to wave a magic wand

    that stops everybody from smoking all at once. Just to hear all the sanctimonious holier than thou non-smokers squeal like stuck pigs as our darling chancellor finds new and imaginative ways to claw back the £12 billion a year in extra tax that smokers pay.

    80% of a packet of cigs price is tax.

    So remember folks, smokers are doing something for you, they are lowering your tax bill.

    Now FOAD.

    Flame away, I'm off to light one up.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Always wonder about those who claim to be non-smokers, but are keen to breathe in what others have left. Why can't they just buy their own?

  44. John Irwin

    The Cutting Edge

    The pub is across the road from me and the news vans descended yesterday, I can't see BMBC standing for it myself, me thinks their others licences will be revoked.

    We shall see.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    The problem is choice.... Unwashed Mass

    I've got a choice to come along and stab you in the face until death but of course inevitably I'll be caught and punished :D you have a choice to smoke a rank old rag of toxic leafy crap doesn't meant we can't make it illegal. The people that are in the majority who want rid of it after having to go through parents and the such dying of particularity nasty diseases... don't mind :D So some choices are given the appropriate punishment by society if you choose them, ooooo what a shame :P

    Flame /on :D

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The same fine every time ? Surely the penalty would increase for repeat offenders?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Love this, NO SOLUTION

    No one sees, it no one wins. Way tooooo emotional for me, ban one social drug but accept another ?

    As a socialiser and frequenter of pubs, I know and I know many of you know the phrase "what's your poison", and therein lies the conundrum that'll never be solved.

    Chill, peace, love MAN.

    To all the non smokers complaining about lung cancer/NHS etc,etc . Heh smokers pay the same taxes, NI, VAT, Council Tax, etc etc as you do. And extra for smoking.

    The drain on the NHS is not purely caused by lung cancer. For the money wastage you need to look at management first.

    Perhaps you might like to cost out drink driving, and alcohol related offences that drain so much out our police forces on a Friday/Saturday night.

    The true analysis is that alcohol is far more costly to the state that smoking. If you take each individually.

    For the smoking and drinking brigade which ever way you cut it you cost the state, non drinking smoker, hmm what about them, hmmmmm non smoking drimkers,

    Pass the spliff sweetheart I'm having a paranoia attack.

  48. kevin biswas

    Why not let the landlords decide ?

    I am a ex-smoker but a lifelong anti-nannyist. I am against most government interference in private affairs, and it seems to me that it should be up to the landlords to decide if they want smoking in their own pubs or not. By all means, lets have legislation to allow landlords to defend their choice either way but compulsion in issues of personal choice is not for grownups. The current government are dangerous, utterly contemptible and are not fit to run a whelk stall let alone a country.

  49. martin burns

    Edin Airport smoking booth

    Clearly the anon coward poster had his/her sense of smell so damaged that they weren't aware of the sickening stench that eminated from that booth - I had to pass it twice a week, and remember it well.

    Still, it was better than the one at the end of T1 at LHR, which you could smell *from the moment you stepped off the plane onto the jetty*.

  50. Andy Bright

    @Is it just a fine?

    This is a work safety law, and in the UK they have real workers rights. The local council (municipality) will shut down the pub (as well as remove it's license to serve alcohol) if it fails to meet safety standards after being given an opportunity to bring the pub into compliance.

    They'll basically get a letter telling them to enforce a no-smoking policy and that inspectors will arrive without notice to verify that this has happened. That's on top of the fines they're almost certainly going to get anyway.

    I don't really have much time for people that put workers in jeopardy. I'm a smoker and it really is no hardship to step outside for 5 minutes to smoke a cigarette. But I also have little sympathy for the anti-smoker brigade that simply want to punish people for doing something their jumped up holy-than-thou attitudes disagree with. These people don't give a fuck about what happens to anyone, they just see something they don't like and go after the people doing it. They're a disgusting blight on society who should fuck off back to California where they belong and take the arseholes that won't take their cigarette smoke outside with them. Those people deserve each other.

    You bunch of cunts told me that I needed to pay for my smoking-related illness through taxes. Good, so now that I'm doing that why hasn't anyone told doctors and hospitals where to send their bills for smoking-related illnesses? We've been told that every tax increase we pay is because we cost the healthcare system money, but for some strange reason none of that money we're now contributing is available to pay our bills. Odd that don't you think? After all studies have shown we were paying at least double the cost to the healthcare system back in the early 90s, and I'm pretty sure cigarette taxes have gone up a number of times since then. So where exactly is this money and why isn't it being used for the reasons you cunts told us we need to pay it?

  51. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Well done!!

    I'm a non-smoker and would not go to this pub, I just believe in freedom of choice and personal responsibility, so a big thumbs-up on this. If, like me, you don't smoke, just don't go there. If you're a smoker who goes to this pub specifically because you can smoke there, then its your choice, and the associated health risks are your responsibility.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    As an ex-smoker, I'm all for smoking "zones" in pubs, because that puts choice back into the equation and more punters back in pubs.

    What I'm not for is a return to the old days - it's brilliant to sit in a pub where you can actually breathe and don't go home stinking like an ashtray.

    The way it was implemented was not brilliant - in fact, it's discrimination.

    So, I support this pubs attempt to find a loophole in a one-sided discriminatory law and cater for ALL punters.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    count yourself lucky

    Here in California there a places that simply thinking about smoking will get you tossed out on you ear. I don't smoke but I know people who do and it's just stupid that there is no place I can go with them where we can relax together if they want a smoke.

  54. Gilbert Wham

    Empty, smoke-free pubs?

    See, the pubs I go to are all still packed, smoking ban or no. Why? Because they're not shit. The hideous sham of a boozer that infests most of the UK is enough to make *anyone* want to shorten their lives. This less to do with the ban than with the fuckwittery of breweries and the fact that there are a huge amount of idiots cluttering up the place whom we could easily set on fire without too much damage to the country's infrastructure.

  55. Tom Maddox Silver badge


    You must be a load of fun at parties.

    @Smokers: You can smoke as long as I can piss in your face to extinguish the cigarette. It's all about respecting my choice, doncha know.

  56. James
    Thumb Up

    @ Andy Gibson

    Amen. Our local Tavern is jam packed half of the time and there is ne'er a telly to be seen. Pubs with tellys ruin the atmosphere apart from when big matches are on and you go to a Wetherspoons. Everyone is consantly looking at the screen even if they don't want to. It's distracting.

    I love the smoking ban (so do most of my mates and the ones quitting). Don't have to wash my clothes after every night and its nicer. It's all well and good saying it's a nanny state and all that, limiting your freedom of choice etc. etc. but you never gave us non-smokers a choice before the ban.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Choice and Safety

    All of the smoking ban stuff should have been about 2 things. Choice and Safety. Choice to accept whatever poison is yours. And safety to make sure other people are protected from your poison. Before the smoking ban both alcohol and tobacco affected other people and failed the safety test. The fact that every town centre has significant violence around pub kicking out time and violence from alcohol takes up excessive time from police who could be doing more useful things means that alcohol is just as bad as smoking for affecting other people.

    The arguments about smoking costing people lots of money through hospital bills are bogus. Some smokers may die of lung cancer or emphysema, but everyone dies of something, and those deaths have a tendency to cost the NHS some money. Also, because smokers life expectancies are shorter than other people means that they end up drawing less money in pensions, personal care, and other benefits of old age. Even your work pension is subsidised by smokers if you are a non-smoker. You are all paying into a scheme and you are all charged the same for converting your nest egg into an annuity. Those who live a long time are in effect subsidised by those who live less.

    Now, the simple fact is, the technology is there to make rooms from which the smoke could not escape. I used to be in the military and we used the technology in bunkers. A bunker was overpressured to mean that a leak in a chemical environment meant that chemical weapons still couldn't get into the bunker. You could actually make a smoking room in a pub have to be underpressured to 0.95atm. It would require a few hermetic seals and a big ass extractor, as well as a few special door. But it could definitely be done. Furthermore, you could have a sensitive sensor for smoke which means that staff wouldn't be allowed in the room (without breathing apparatus at least) unless the sensor read below a certain level (set by Health and Safety - like the level of noise at which hearing protection is required). Once the pub cleared out, the extractors would have to run until the concentration of smoke was safe enough to enter.

    I've actually been in bars where extraction was actually so good that I couldn't smell a cigar being smoked next to me - so this can all be done. Instead what we got was a law that was designed to be punitive to smokers. Instead of allowing a comfortable area outside, the law pretty much requires the smoking area to be open to the elements, primarily it seems just to make life more uncomfortable for smokers.

    Funnily enough, as a non-smoker, I actually have more problems with smoke than I ever used to have. When I went to bars, I routinely went to ones where smoking was banned anyway, or ones that had separate smoking rooms. For example Wetherspoons pubs. These days, everywhere I walk I have to go through groups of smokers huddled around outside. In still wind conditions, the smoke lingers around and can be pretty nasty. I would much prefer them to be inside and contained than outside and getting in everyone's way.

  58. Barney Carroll
    Thumb Up

    Don't bother with loopholes, just break the law

    If it weren't for the fact that pubs have been fighting a war of attrition against massive tax and profiteering breweries, they'd have some leeway to use their imaginations to fight against the financial crush of the smoking ban.

    For instance the Amsterdam system, whereby pubs group together and pitch towards a caddy covering a smoking fine. Everyone in said pubs disregards ban. When police nab one, everyone shares the fine. Business plows on in all of the pubs, fine pays for itself.

    The judicial system has better things to do than intervene in this stupid restriction which would easily have been possible without government intention as a choice of individual establishments - were it not for lack of popular support and hence financial non-viability.

    Police-state non-smokers were always welcome to stay away those horrific institutions known as English pubs. I don't seem to remember the moment we became their problem.

  59. Rellik San

    Ban for employees.

    So the smoking ban came in to protect employee's.

    When in college the ban was just implemented, I was the only non-smoker against it.

    Reasoning was simple;

    "So its to protect employees and promote a family atmosphere.... What sort of moron applies to work in a pub and doesn't expect a smokey atmosphere? also, am I the only one who believes in the right to have a pint without some wee nippers running into everything and being generally noisy."

    Mines the one with the lighter in the pocket, I don't smoke, but I'd rather smell smoke then stale beer and body odur.

  60. Moss Icely Spaceport

    Spell: "Ignorant"


    Corrrrrrrrrrrrrect !!!111one

  61. Mark Donnison

    Make it illegal.


    Stop messing around and make it illegal to buy, sell or smoke tobacco, that includes pipes and cigars, we want no double standards here you bunch of freeloading bastards (you just know 'palaces' will be exempt.......).

    The nations health will improve dramatically. Those of us who smoke can have our cravings lessened as we watch the horror on the faces of the non smokers as their taxes go through the roof and the health service collapses due to lack of funding. Thats right, the same health service that claims it is burdened to the point of collapse by smokers.

    Seriously, there is no way this government is getting re elected, it may as well push through a total ban and be done with it. I for one would get hours of fun out of saying 'I told you so', this would more than make up for the cold turkey. Do it, do it now .............................

  62. Allan Dyer Silver badge

    @KnowAll Coward

    "Smoking & Whaling equally abhorred"

    Does this mean we can harpoon smokers and sell the meat?

    Mine's the sou'wester.

  63. Mike Crawshaw

    Even Judge Dredd

    Didn't ban smoking as much as the gov. There was the "Smokatorium" in 2000AD, I seem to remember from all those years ago.

    Even before the ban, I supported choice by the landlord. Any landlord who wanted to convert to non-smoking only could do so, and would get an incentive to help with converssions etc. Any landlord who wished to remain smoking got no incentive, and had to advertise the fact that it was a smoking establishment clearly. We all got along fine when (e.g.) Wetherspoons was non-smoking and my local metal pit was a fug of toxic ash. Now they all just smell the same, stale sweat and eggy farts.

    There are a couple of other pubs in the South Yorkshire area that are looking at following suit and doing the same - you GO guys!

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they want to exploit this loophole, they'd better take care...

    Experimental animals must be euthenased at the end of all studies!

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't we just allow people to choose for themselves?

    My GP friend tells me how he visits his dying lung cancer patients in their homes surrounded by their grieving relatives saying how terrible and unfair it all is - but most of them are sat there smoking.

    Some patients have given up - but pointlessly as it's far too late. Others are philosphic, it gives me pleasure so I may as well keep going.

    His cynical suggestion is that the Government should subsidise cigarettes. The medical care is cheap, life expectancy is 6 months from diagnosis, it's mostly life-long smokers who are affected in their 60's and we are facing a pension funding crisis...

    As a non-smoker, like so many others here I can smugly stand back and support the smoking ban because it doesn't affect me.

    My opinion as a citizen is that if the Government can progressively pick off our activities one by one and ban them on the grounds of health and safety we'll end up with no freedoms. I support smoker's freedom to smoke as long as I'm not forced to share their smoke. They know the consequences, the tobacco tax more than covers the cost to NHS of treating lung cancer. My wife smokes a bit, mostly in response to stress and not in our house. I would prefer her to stop but she gains some comfort from it and she has cut down to one or two a week that's a reasonable and responsible attitude.

    As a driver I'm going to find speed limits reduced because of nearly 3000 road fatalities a year (fewer than most other countries). Compare that with the fact that the NHS is killing more than ten times as many with medical "accidents", MRSA/C.Diff (10,000 a year - but with targets to reduce the numbers there is a temptation for death certificates to under-report hospital acquired infections as the primary cause), post operative thrombosis (Around 32,000 UK hospital patients a year die after developing a blood clot of which 70% are preventable). So Government would rather disregard 30,000 needless deaths and tackle the soft targets - make us drive at 20mph rather than face trying to get staff to keep the hospitals and themselves clean. What's the secret agenda behind revising speed limits down? More speed camera revenues? Which politicians (or their families/cronies) owns shares in the companies who'd manufacture and replace all the speed limit signs? Or is it just a matter of promises of directorships once we've kicked them out of government? (By the way, lung cancer death rates are nearly 30,000 a year raising the question - which 30,000 deaths do you care most about reducing? Shall we tell nurses to wash their hands or shall we ban smoking in pubs?)

    Because there are too many fatties we are being told what food to eat, how long before there are blanket bans on "bad" foods (and a black-market in Mars bars?)

    I can't buy a carving knife without proof of age - when will they put a ban on pointed sticks?

    I can't board 'plane with eyebrow tweezers. Or a bottle of water.

    I can't pick up a friend from the airport terminal doorway, I might be a terrorist with a car full of explosives.

    I can't photograph in the street without risking the attention of Police (But Google can photograph every street in the country).

    I will arouse suspicion if I'm a train or plane spotter.

    I can't display a placard near Parliament or Downing St.

    I can't disclose embarrasing information about MPs expenses without risk of arrest.

    Even opposition MPs are legitimate targets for unauthorised police raids and searches (Damian Green/Daniel Kawczynski) whereas police investigation of Government corruption (cash for Honours) is quashed by the DPP and I can guess what the investigating officer's career prospects are.

    I do some volunteer work teaching kids about hiking, camping, map-reading, navigation but I'm not allowed to take them to the local park to practise using a compass unless I have a first aid certificate and a "Basic expedition leaders accreditation" at a total cost of £700 for the training plus several days of my time to undertake the training plus my travel and accommodation expenses. (As this is working with Air Cadets the organisation may pay the course fees.) Even then I'd have to submit my plans, risk assessments etc for approval 6 weeks ahead of each event.

    Please can we have a government that has a focus on making things possible rather than fabricating reasons to prevent every initiative or freedom, progressively turning us into battery chickens - the role of a UK citizen will end up as being confined to a hermetically sealed box where there is nothing that can harm us. To repay the Government for taking such good care of us we just need to generate the revenue for them and their acolytes to live in the style of an Socialist/African dictator.

    Yes Government wants to see an end to Pubs - we meet other people there and talk about Government corruption.

    My favourite pub, probably Britain's finest, is The Fat Cat in Sheffield. When it opened nearly 30 years ago it was a real innovator having a no-smoking room. Perhaps we should blame them for starting the trend...

    I understand they had difficulty getting a mortgage because the Banker's view was that pubs were places popular with smokers "People enjoy a smoke with their beer" they said...

    Interestingly in view of some of the other postings here, I'm told that another pub in Sheffield has just been bought by a group with theatrical connections...

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