Smoking ban has been bad for business, say pubs one year on

08 September 2008 by
Smoking ban has been bad for business, say pubs one year on

Nearly half of UK pub landlords say they have had to lay off staff because of the smoking ban and three-quarters say the ban has been bad for business, according to a survey.

Just over a year after the UK-wide smoking ban in pubs was introduced, pub licensees have warned of fresh woes for the pub industry if the Government sticks to plans to ban cigarette vending machines in pubs.

Forty two percent of almost 1,000 respondents questioned by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the professional body for the licensed retail sector, and the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA), said a vending machine ban would damage profits at a time when pubs are facing their toughest trading for decades.

In 2006, before the smoking ban, 54% of pub trade was estimated to come from smokers, compared to 38% now, the survey says.

John McNamara, chief executive of BII, said: "As an industry we have already suffered massive collateral damage in the war against tobacco. We asked our members before the ban how bad it would be and they said the ban would be] devestating but the Government took no notice."

"We've now asked them about these new proposals and 42% of our members believe that a ban on [cigarette] vending [machines] will be bad for trade, at a time when many are struggling to preserve their viability as small businesses and vital community assets. Almost no-one thinks that it will help."

Smoking ban news round-up>>

Pubs close at a rate of five a day, says research >>

JD Wetherspoon's profits suffer from ‘traumatic year' >>

Pub landlord hits out at local council over smoking >>

By Nick Huber

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