A single "No Smoking" sign, displayed at one entrance, should be sufficient to remind hospitality customers of the forthcoming smoking ban in England and Wales, according to the British Hospitality Association (BHA).
In its submission to the Department of Health's consultation programme for England, the BHA warns there is ambiguity over where the signs are to be displayed. A similar submission has been sent to the Welsh Assembly Government, which is introducing a smoking ban on 2 April 2007.
Bob Cotton, BHA chief executive, said that while the Health Bill refers to one sign, the regulations propose a sign in a prominent position in each entrance.
"How many signs do we need? This is a typical example of government trying to gold-plate an Act of Parliament when it should be left to individual operators," Cotton said.
"We propose that the signage requirement should be reduced to the minimum consistent with the Act - that is, one (A5) sign with the international no smoking symbol at one public entrance to the premises. Wording and further signs should be a matter for the operators."
Cotton also describes as "nonsense" the proposal that where a hotel designates one or more bedrooms for smoking, the sign displays the words "except in a designated room".
"This is bound to lead to customers asking if there is a public room, such as a bar, where they can smoke," he said.
By Daniel Thomas