Smoking ban 'encourages socialising'

24-08-2006

Scotland's pubs, bars and restaurants are benefiting from the smoking ban introduced earlier this year, it has been claimed.

Publishing the results of a survey analysing the effects of the ban on the social habits of Scots, Cancer Research UK claims that 24 per cent are more likely to go out than before the ban's introduction.

Although ten per cent said they were less likely to go out, the net 14 per cent increase is sufficient to discredit the claims of pro-smoking lobbies that a ban would negatively impact on catering industry revenues.

"Making pubs and bars smoke-free gives workers the protection they deserve and creates a more appealing place to go to for your social drink with friends," said Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control.

"The results of this survey should reassure publicans still worried that the smoking ban will drive customers away."

Although bringing significant health benefits to employees working in previously smoky environments, the Scottish ban has resulted in a number of complications for enforcers.

Initial confusion over what outdoor covered areas require the imposition of a ban has been replaced by rising numbers of complaints about rowdy behaviour outside pubs and bars. Additional concerns centre on excessive littering of cigarette butts next to entrances to pubs.

Health minister Lord Warner is currently considering whether or not to extend the smoking ban in England and Wales to office doorways when it comes into force next year.


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