The Smoking Ban should be amended to allow smokers the ability to smoke indoors in pubs etc.  Proprietors should be allowed to set aside an inside smoking room.  This would prevent smokers having to stand outside in inclement weather like second-class citizens.  It would also allow non-smokers to use other smoke-free areas of the establishment.  A 'Smoke Room' is not a new idea, many old pubs still have frosted windows bearing this sign.  This would seem to be a fair compromise where everyone's interests are catered for.  As for staff who need to work in smoking areas, it should be made clear to them (in their job description) that they will be required to do so.  Then they have the option of declining the job. 

Why is this idea important?

Pubs are closing at a worrying rate.  There are various factors causing this but the Smoking Ban is playing a significant part by deterring customers – conversations with landlords and the evidence of my own eyes confirm this to me.  It is not just smokers who are using pubs less.  The partners or friends of smokers (who may not themselves smoke) may be using pubs less because their partner/friend doesn't want to go and therefore they are reluctant to go on their own.  A closed pub means jobs lost and, in rural areas at least, the community loses its centre of social interaction – possibly never to return.

My idea is important for six reasons.

1.  It will save jobs.

2. It will save livelihoods.

3. It will save small communities from losing their social heart.

4. It will restore equal citizenship to smokers.

5.  It will protect the interests of non-smokers.

6.  It will give freedom of choice to all and take it from none..

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