Phil Mellows is normally someone who seems to have his finger on the pulse of the licensed trade, and has been alert to the threat from the anti-drink lobby. But this posting about the smoking ban is, sadly, the most ignorant and bigoted nonsense imaginable. He concludes:
I supported the idea that pubs might, by installing efficient ventilation and air-cleaning kit, ‘remove the smoke – not the smoker' as the slogan went. But over a number of years, as the pub trade fought a rearguard action against legislation, it became clear to me that the world was changing and that people – smokers and non-smokers alike – were ready for a ban.It’s some adaptation when pubs have lost 25% of their beer trade in less than five years. And are all those pubs that have closed, and those that have lost most of their regulars and are now just running on empty, really better places?
And so it's proved. The smoking ban, it's true, was the last nail in the coffin for some pubs but the vast majority, and their customers, have adapted to the new circumstances.
Has it made pubs better places? I'm afraid you have to say it has.
And he repeats the old canard that, in the days before the ban, non-smokers felt obliged to throw their clothes in the washing machine after a night in the pub, whereas in reality I doubt whether even 1% did.
Edit 16/12/11: and four days on, no comments have been approved on that article, even though I and several of the commenters here have said they have submitted some. Are they afraid of open debate or something?