This is important because pubs, often the heart of communities, are closing down at a rapid rate, having been victims of a double whammy – the smoking ban and the economic downturn. There is also a safety issue to consider. Many pubs, since the ban, have told smokers that they are not allowed to take their drinks outside with them. This means smokers are having to leave their drinks inside a pub, often unguarded. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to slip something in the drink to do so.
The smoking ban was far too draconian. Smoking in pubs is a tradition (for smokers); a drink and a cigarette. While appreciating that not all people want to experience the smokey atmosphere, there is a far better way of dealing with this issue. Have licenced smokers' pubs – these would be pubs not serving food; landlord/landladies would apply for a licence and pay for it – they can then charge more for drinks (smokers would be willing to pay).
Non-smokers would know it is a smokers pub and can choose not to enter. Non-smokers looking for bar work would also be able to choose whether to apply for work at a known smokers' pub or not.