The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has slammed the increased fines proposed for publicans who fail to stop customers lighting up when the ban on smoking in public places comes into force next summer.
Bob Cotton, chief executive of the BHA, said the increase in the maximum fine from £200 to £2,500 failed to recognise the difficulties landlords faced in preventing customers (who faced fines of just £50) from flouting the law.
Cotton welcomed the vote for a total ban that did not exempt private members clubs, but added that it was important that legislation was harmonised across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to maintain a level playing field.
He said hoteliers in England were especially keen to retain the same right to allow smoking in designated bedrooms as their Scots counterparts.
Click here to read Bob Cotton's views in full in the Caterersearch News Comment.