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The Traditional British Pub is Threatened by the Smoking Ban

Comment 20th July 2010

        

          The smoking ban has resulted in the loss of civil liberties and threatens the existence of the traditional British pub.

          It is widely accepted that Britainsiconic traditional pubs are in grave danger.  They still are an expected feature of the British way of life for visiting tourists and are often the only public places to socialise for many villages and communities. They may be out of fashion now – but once they are gone they will not return.

         The smoking ban has had a major part to play in their decline. Traditional pub goers contained well above the average proportion of smokers.  Many of them have been forced to abandon pubs – in favour of drinking at home.  The idea that this slack would be taken up by an increase in non-smokers has proved dreadfully wrong.  The huge numbers of pub closures bears this out.

         At a glance it may seem that there are still many traditional pubs left.  However, many of them have severely curtailed opening hours and many others have simply become restaurants. The traditional pub was based around a seating arrangement that allowed part of the premises to be a place to drink, chat and have a fag. If someone asks you if you have booked a table, when you enter, or if all the seating is formal dining seating – you are in a restaurant. 

        The smoking ban should be repealed and pubs, clubs, etc. should be given back the right to choose what they offer. Without this I feel that the traditional pub will cease to exist within the next few years. 

         This is clearly a case of the majority dictating to a sizeable minorities civil rights. It would have been perfectly easy to allow pubs and clubs to choose what service they offered and it would have saved thousands of jobs. A society that cannot tolerate minority interests is not a free society. Is that the sort of country we have become?

Why does this matter?

        The smoking ban threatens the existence of the traditional British pub and denies the right of pubs and clubs, etc. to choose the service they wish to offer. It has created a society in which the rights of a sizeable minority have been unreasonably curtailed and a society that cannot tolerate minority interests is not a fee society.  The smoking ban should be repealed.

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