With reference to the letters published in anticipation of the smoking ban, can I offer my more positive voice into the mix?
Smoking is not making, but breaking, the hospitality industry, and the sooner a ban is put into place, the happier all staff, owners and customers should be.
I don't need to focus on the dingy, smoke-ridden atmosphere, or the coughing from a non-smoker, and the morning hack from a dying member of staff.
I can instead mention the potential increases in food revenues; the return of the family unit to establishments; the increase in productivity from staff not taking breaks; replacement sales from smokers eating instead of smoking; and, of course, the massive savings involved with a redecoration cycle that is dramatically extended without smoke.
It is easy to see how people can be nervous of the transition, but what we are looking at here is a sea-change in the way that the hospitality industry services its customers.
It will take time to adjust, and some may suffer slightly in the short term.
But the future is more than rosy. It is one where we have a pleasant atmosphere, with healthy staff serving in clean surroundings, that everyone can enjoy.
The one thing we do need is a level playing field, and I have to applaud the Government for attempting to make one.
General manager, Arnos Manor Hotel, Bristol
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