Yet again we see the CAMRA newsletter What’s Brewing puffing the smoking ban. August’s issue has a headline Smoking ban boost for pubs and real ale across England – yet the article goes on to say there has been a noticeable downturn in trade, but it is impossible to tell to what extent it has been caused by the bad weather or the ban. Misleading reporting or what?
One of the few pieces of evidence advanced in favour of the headline was a survey by Greene King which found that 48% of people said they would go to pubs more often after the ban. Presumably, then, 52% won’t – not exactly very convincing. It is also generally recognised that in opinion surveys people will tend to say what sounds good rather than what they really think. And one pub in Oxford claiming to have had their busiest Sunday for months on 1 July can hardly be said to be representative of a general trend.
Regrettably those responsible for What’s Brewing continue to have their heads firmly jammed up their backsides and fail to recognise that the war against tobacco and the war against alcohol are two sides of the same coin.