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  • "
    mad matt wrote:
    I am certain that a hell of a lot of clubs and pubs have been forced to shut down, with the resulting loss of employment and in many cases the loss of the licencee's home as well.
    What harm would it do to the non-smoking public if a decent, well ventilated room (possibly without a bar counter) was set aside for the use of smokers?
    You can hardly expect the customers who wish to smoke to stand outside in the cold and the rain, in order to have a puff n a pint!
    A lot of smokers now, are choosing to drink at home - hence there are thousands of former bar workers out of a job now in the UK.
    I am a FORMER smoker, so I can see both sides of the argument.
    On the other hand, chains such as Wetherspoons are expanding at a rapid rate because smoking ban or not they give people what they want, Many of the pubs that shut down were just not wanted by the public anymore, if you allowed smoking the vast majority probably wouldnt re-open.
    The report fails to mention those EU countries who are actually tightening their smoking regulations (Spain comes to mind)."
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David ward and Philip Davies join campaigners lobbying Parliament

Bingley and District Working Men’s Club president Don Lee at the club, which has struggled since the smoking ban was introduced

Bingley and District Working Men’s Club president Don Lee at the club, which has struggled since the smoking ban was introduced

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A call for the coalition Government to relax parts of the smoking ban is being supported by two of its Bradford MPs Bradford East MP David Ward and Shipley MP Philip Davies are backing efforts by the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union and the Save Our Pubs and Clubs Campaign for a review, following decisions in Denmark and Holland to allow smoking areas in some premises.

Liberal Democrat MP Mr Ward, a member of Idle Working Men’s Club, said club and pub owners should have the right to choose if they wanted to open an area for smokers inside their premises.

Conservative MP Mr Davies said he believed the outright smoking ban was causing major harm to the pub and club trade.

Mr Ward, who is also treasurer of the All Party Parlimentary Group for Non-Profit Making Members Clubs, said he felt it was time the Government heeded the calls for a review into the smoking ban.

He said: “I’m not somebody who is in favour of smoking. My father died when he was 60 years old and smoked from the age of 14 and I’m sure it didn’t help him, so I have strong personal views on smoking.

“But what we have to accept is that it is an addiction and people have a right to do with their own bodies as they wish.

“I do sincerely hope that over a period of time people are persuaded of the detrimental effects of smoking.

“However we do have a lot of people, and whether we like it or not, it is part of their life and it’s very much a part of their social life.

“So if there is a possibility of a separate area that can be made available for those who wish to smoke, then I think that should be allowed.”

Mr Davies said: “I don’t smoke and as it happens I don’t like going into smoky places, but I was vehemently opposed to a ban in public. I voted against it and spoke out against it in the debate.

“It has had a detrimental impact on pubs and clubs. It had a devastating effect on Bingley Working Men’s Club.

“I don’t think I was sent to Parliament to ban everybody else doing things that I don’t like myself, so whatever attempts there are to amend the smoking ban to allow a pub to have a dedicated smoking room, I would absolutely support.”

George Dawson, secretary of the West Yorkshire branch of the CIU, said he had lost a third of the bar takings at his club in Halifax since the ban came in during 2007.

He said: “Smokers are usually pretty good drinkers as well, It’s all right having a few folk coming in but if they are all on half a lemonade each it’s no good at all.

“I think it should be just moved back to what it was before.

“We used to have a sign on the door where it said ‘smoking throughout’, or ‘no smoking areas’ or ‘no smoking in the whole club’.

“I think it should be the club’s choice.

“Bradford, Airedale and Halifax has seen four closures and there are a lot of clubs that are close to the edge since the smoking ban was introduced in 2007.”

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