Northern Ireland bar staff joined together this week to demand a total ban on smoking in enclosed public places.
The Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union (AT&G) called on the country's Federation of Retail Licensed Trade (FRLT) to protect their health by vetoing smoking in all restaurants, pubs and bars.
Speaking at yesterday's FRLT conference at the Europa hotel in Belfast, union spokesman Maurice Cunningham said: "The conference will be considering various options for bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants. In our view they should have only one option - to ban smoking."
Cunningham highlighted mounting medical evidence to justify the ban and pointed out that a moratorium would not necessarily mean economic doom and gloom for licensees.
The AT&G said that the smoking ban in the Republic of Ireland had not had a serious effect on alcohol sales and underlined that there had been a downward trend anyway.
by Tom Bill
Buy this week's Caterer magazine for more industry news and analysis