Smoking ban

Alcohol duty, licensing, planning, and any other policies that affect beer and pubs
Citra
Joined: 05 Nov 2016, 21:31

02 Jul 2017, 19:16 #41

PeterE wrote:This comment on the effects of the smoking ban left on my blog by Liam is well worth repeating:
Liam wrote:I can prove that 3 pubs shut because of the ban as the people who stopped going told me so and I know the landlords personally. All wet led, keg only pubs with substantial week-day after-work trade. Site workers after 4pm and factory after 6. They would do substantial trade up until 8-9pm Mon-Thur then quieten off.

The ban had an almost instant effect in cutting that trade because those punters were going for a very specific reason, to relax after hard (often very physical) work, before going home for dinner and preparing for another day of slog. When the smokers stopped going, their mates also stopped going and when that happened the few who were left started to thin out as there was no craic in an empty pub in the early evening. After a while some of those people also started to stop coming at the week-end.

Those, heavily working class, back-street, food-free boozers were already only just providing a living to their landlords/landladies. The tie, crazy business rates, increasing rent and constant harassment from the clipboard brigade at the council did not finish them off. These things hit their pockets, put pressure on already thin margins and increased their already ridiculous working hours as they were forced to shed staff

But the smoking ban, unlike all the other problems, actually removed punters from the bar. The domino effect began and sooner or later the savings run out and you have to walk.

It is this type of pub that has been murdered by the smoking ban. Not the sort of place that the ban's advocates would deign to visit. Not the sort of area where people talk about hop terroir or food-pairings. But the last community back-bone of already depressed areas where me and my mates would meet for a few beers, a chat and yes maybe a ciggie. Pubs that don't get in the guides, don't get covered by the self-appointed double-barrelled beer gurus on the internet. Pubs that provided a meagre living to one or two people who've put their whole life into keeping them open.

The group who've been hardest hit among my acquaintances are working single men, often middle-aged (not a demographic that the crafterati think about very much) for whom the local was often the only social outlet they had. This has led to more loneliness and isolation in this group and, by their nature, they aren't a group that get covered very much.

So as you sit in your smoke-free gastropub commenting on how delicate Pierre manages to get those organic scallops you can rest easy knowing that you've taken away one of the few nice things in the lives of people you've never met.
I have never been a (hooked) smoker, although I of course did the schoolboy thing behind the bicycle shed (make of that what you will), I have never been anti smoking in pubs or anywhere else, but is Liam ,quoted above suggesting these hard working guys only went to the pub after work just to smoke? That doesn't cut it with me, I'm sure the ban has taken the shine off the pub experience for many , but surely the main purpose of the pub ,particularly after work is to have a relaxing beer , the smoking was just something you could also do as a matter of course. ( Duckinging in anticipation of oncoming flack). :D
"Everybody's got to believe in something, I believe I'll have another beer." W.C.Fields.
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PeterE
Joined: 05 Nov 2016, 20:00

03 Jul 2017, 07:41 #42

Citra wrote:I have never been a (hooked) smoker, although I of course did the schoolboy thing behind the bicycle shed (make of that what you will), I have never been anti smoking in pubs or anywhere else, but is Liam ,quoted above suggesting these hard working guys only went to the pub after work just to smoke? That doesn't cut it with me, I'm sure the ban has taken the shine off the pub experience for many , but surely the main purpose of the pub ,particularly after work is to have a relaxing beer , the smoking was just something you could also do as a matter of course.
Yes, but if you are a smoker, having a cig is integral to the activity of relaxing with an after-work pint.
"Raising taxes on alcohol to prevent problem drinking is akin to raising the price of gasoline to prevent people from speeding." (Edward Peter Stringham)
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