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Nicotine Nannies claim smoking bans are good for business. But if that were the case, could this list exist, and could it be so huge? (Please note, this is only a small sample of articles available on the subject.)

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Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Drinker postman who fell from terrace while smoking sues pub

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

An English postman who fell from the terrace of a pub after going out for a cigarette, and slipped into coma for a week, has now moved the court seeking one million pounds as compensation.

Matthew Long, 40, contends that the Old West Station pub in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, should have put up rails to stop customers, who were forced to go outside for a cigarette due to the smoking ban, from falling.

The incident took place in August last year, a month after the smoking ban came into force.

The members of his family have revealed that he was so brain-damaged that he even had to relearn his own name.

Its absolutely devastating for Matthew and the whole family. He smoked only ten cigarettes a day but he must be the worst victim of the smoking ban, British tabloid The Sun quoted him sister Clare Ratcliffe, 46, as saying.

If he hadn’t had to step outside to light up it would never have happened. It had been happy hour and Matthew had a few drinks but has no recollection of what happened, she added.

Source: Thaindian News.  Link

Pub closures survey: it’s grim up north

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

The West Midlands and Scotland have been hit hardest in the national pub blight that sees six pubs close per day.

that’s a key finding of CGA’s survey of recent closure rates nationally.

The figures are broken down by Parliamentary constituency as part of the campaigns by the British Beer & Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale and the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group to show politicians the scale of the closure crisis.

It compares pub numbers in February 2009 with figures from June 2007, just before the English smoking ban, and data from the last general election in 2005.

More than half of constituencies with fastest closure rates since 2007 are in the West Midlands and Scotland. Dudley South lost the greatest proportion of pub stock — 28% (29 pubs).

Big job losses in the West Midlands, and the fact that many of the pubs are smaller and landlocked, have been given as reasons for closures in that region.

The early smoking ban and fears of costly licensing reform have been blamed for above-average closure rates north of the border.

Other reasons given for closures have been a move towards change-of-use, over-regulation and rent levels.

The Cities of London & Westminster has seen the biggest number of closures since June 2007, 30 from a pub stock of 949.

Manchester Central has seen the biggest fall in numbers since the 2005 election, with 50 fewer pubs.

Overall, the study shows there were 61,677 pubs in England, Scotland and Wales in February 2009, down 3,037 in 20 months and 4,271 fewer than in June 2005.

Publicans on trial for smoking ban violations

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

The owners of a café in the northern city of Groningen will appear in court today on charges of violating the recently introduced smoking ban for the catering industry. The owners of Café De Kachel were caught six times allowing their patrons to smoke.

They argue their turnover went down by 60 percent after the introduction of the ban and say they had no choice but to put the ashtrays back on the tables. The owners are facing a maximum fine of 18,500 euros, and the judge can order the café temporarily closed.

Many of Groningen’s publicans are expected to attend the trial to offer the owners of De Kachel moral support.

Source: Radion Netherlands.  Link

Across France, Cafe Owners Are Suffering

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

The plight of Ms. Guérin is being replicated all over France, as traditional cafes and bars suffer and even close, hit by changing attitudes, habits and now a poor economic climate. In 1960, France had 200,000 cafes, said Bernard Quartier, president of the National Federation of Cafes, Brasseries and Discotheques. Now it has fewer than 41,500, with an average of two closing every day.

The number of bankruptcies filed by cafe bars in the first six months of 2008 rose by 56 percent over the same period a year ago, according to a study by Euler Hermes SFAC, a large credit insurance company. No reliable figures are available for the latter part of this year, when an economic slowdown here has been accelerated by the general financial crisis, a collapse in consumer confidence and the quick tightening of credit.

Not only are the French spending less, and drinking less, cutting down on the intensity and quality of the debates, but on Jan. 1 of this year, after much huffing and puffing, France extended its smoking ban to bars, cafes and restaurants.

Marco Mayeux, 42, the bartender of Le Relais, a Paris cafe in the 18th Arrondissement, said the ban alone had cut his coffee and bar business by 20 percent.

“A place like mine doesn’t appeal to everyone; it’s very working-stiff,” he said. “There is a coffee-at-the-counter feel that isn’t attractive anymore.”

Before, clients would go inside a cafe, have a coffee, a cigarette and another coffee. But now they go out to smoke, and sometimes they do not come back, many cafe owners said.

In Paris, Mr. Picolet, of Aux Amis du Beaujolais, said simply: “The bar-cafes? They’re finished. Twenty years ago, people would go in the morning before work for a coffee and a cigarette. And now, it’s over. Young people don’t drink during the day, and when they drink, they drink to get wasted. Smoking is forbidden and they eat en route, with coffee in a paper cup. They smoke and drink at home.”

Source: The New York Times.  Link

Check before you spend on catering for the smokers

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

There has also been a significant impact on the licensed premises in the wake of the ban. A survey carried out by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), showed that 74% of landlords felt that the ban was bad for trade, with 47% directly attributing it to staff redundancies.

It is certainly a fact that 175 million fewer pints were sold in the nine month period from the start of the ban. But, it would be naïve to attribute this decline to just one cause.

Source: NeBusiness.  Link

Dutch cafe owners rally against smoking ban

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

THE HAGUE (AFP) — Dutch cafe owners on Saturday took to the streets of The Hague in protest at a smoking ban they say has seen business drop by up to a third.

The cafe owners want the ban, which came into force on July 1, scrapped arguing they have neither the space nor the money to build specially-ventilated smoking areas.

Source: AFP. Link

Pub campaigners bid to alter smoking ban

Monday, November 24th, 2008

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the future of the Great British pub are today attempting to alter the controversial smoking ban.

Even the government accepts the legislation has had a huge impact on trade and is allowing bars to claim business rate reductions.

The ban is often cited as one of the prime factors killing pubs – and now a campaign has been launched in Suffolk to try to amend the law.

Jim Adams is behind the bid and is urging regulars at pubs all over the country to sign a petition.

“The smoking ban should be replaced with a rule that would require all public houses to have a room set aside for smokers instead of the really stupid overall ban,” said Mr Adams, who runs Jim and Donna’s Barbers in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

“The ban is killing the pub trade and removing from the English way of life one of the most sought after features for tourists coming here. There is no justifiable reason to stop those who wish to smoke from so doing.

“If there is another part of the pub which is a smoking area then the folk who wish to smoke may so do, and those who want a smoke-free area may have the rest of the establishment – including the food area – to themselves.”

The Evening Star is highlighting the loss of pubs in the area – more than 100 have closed in living memory – and the threat many are now facing to their future.

Kate Nicholls, head of communications at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which represents pubs and bars, said: “Last summer’s bad weather and the smoking ban were to blame for a number of closures.

“People are not going to want to stand outside and smoke when the weather is unpleasant and with extremely cheap supermarket drink deals available. It just gives people a reason to stay home.”

Source: Evening Star.  Link

Pubs to go as Punch reports loss

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Pubs group Punch Taverns has reported an annual loss as the consumer slowdown and smoking ban hit its business.

The pub group said it made a pre-tax loss of £80.2m in the year to August 23, down sharply from a profit of £304.7m a year ago.

To strengthen its business, Punch wants to sell about 500 less profitable pubs.

The group’s share price has fallen 80% over the past year as a result of concerns about the firm’s financial position.

This was “brought about by the change in the consumer market following the first full-year of the smoking ban” and “a weakened consumer environment,” Punch said.

Source: BBC News.  Link

Mental illness, the law and rudeness

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

England’s smoking ban applies to psychiatric hospitals.  The smoking rooms they used to have for patients are now illegal, so patients are lighting up other places, and causing fires. 

Psychiatric units are experiencing major problems with implementation of the NHS smoking ban. Although this was implemented in other parts of the NHS last year, there was a delay until July 1 this year for psychiatric units in recognition that they would face specific difficulties.

Despite the additional time to prepare, a number of unforeseen consequences of the ban have occurred. Most alarmingly, the frequency of “small” fires on psychiatric units has increased sharply. At the mental health trust where I work, the frequency of fires has quadrupled since the start of the ban, from about one fire every two months to two fires a month. At the same time the sensitivity of smoke detectors on psychiatric wards at our trust has been reduced in an attempt to reduce the number of “false alarms” triggered by smoking in enclosed areas and unnecessary calls to the fire brigade.

The increase in the number of fires is thought to be the result of patients no longer being supervised smoking in a “smoking room” and instead resorting to smoking in their bedrooms and the toilets. Whereas previously patients’ cigarettes would either be lit by staff or from a wall-mounted lighter, there is now widespread possession of lighters and matches by patients, and patients are easily able to circumvent body searches.

On October 15, a fire at Camlet Lodge secure psychiatric unit in north London caused an estimated £60m of damage and the evacuation of 60 patients to another facility; fortunately, no one was injured. Camlet Lodge is a modern purpose-built unit meeting current fire standards. Unfortunately, many psychiatric units are still housed in old Victorian buildings.

Staff in the frontline of implementing the smoking ban are at a loss what to do. Attempts to raise this issue with hospital managers at my trust have not produced any practical solution, as managers feel their hands are tied by the Health Act 2006. Surely it was not parliament’s intention when they passed the smoking ban to cause risk to life and limb. Public debate on this issue is urgently required before there is a significant loss of life in a fire at an NHS psychiatric hospital.

Source: The Guardian.  Link

Café turnover hit by smoking ban

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Many cafes and discos have seen their turnover fall as a result of the smoking ban introduced on July 1, says sector lobby group Horeca Nederland.

Café turnover dropped by an average 26% and discos by 31% in July and August, compared with the previous summer, according to a survey by the sector.

Source: Dutch News.  Link

Dutch cafes losing money over cigarette ban

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Three quarters of Dutch cafes and clubs have lost patrons due to a smoking ban which was introduced in July.

The significant drop in business was reported after a study revealed that cafes had seen a 26 percent decline with clubs dropping by 31 percent.

The smoking ban has been blamed for the loss of customers and many establishments say they have had to fire staff.

Earlier this month restaurant owners asked the health ministry to compensate them for losses as a result of the ban.

Source: Brunei News Net.  Link

Smoking ban killing business, say pubs

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Kath Duffy, landlady of the Newcastle Packet and president of the Scarborough branch of the Licensed Victuallers’ Association, said: “The council might think the ban is wonderful but we don’t. Pubs have lost a lot of trade, the summer’s not been too bad but the winter when people have to stand out in the cold will really hurt us. We saw a definite drop in trade last winter. People just aren’t coming to pubs like they used to before the ban.”

Laurin Mainprize, landlady of the Britannia, said: “I reckon business is down 40 per cent on last year. Smoking isn’t illegal and people shouldn’t have to stand outside in the cold to smoke. Why can’t we have smoking and non-smoking establishments so people can make up their own minds?

“The local pub’s a dying breed and the ban’s one of the main reasons.”

And customers agree.

Lindsay White, a regular in the Black Swan, said: “My husband’s a smoker and he just won’t come to the pub any more – he says there’s no pleasure if he can’t have a smoke with his pint.”

Source: Scarborough Evening News.  Link

Brewery in administration

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The Dusanji brothers – Sudarghara and Ajmal – blamed the smoking ban for the failure of their Liverpool-based Cains’ Brewery which has an estate of 100 pubs, including several in Greater Manchester.

They took over the Robert Cain & Co brewery in July, 2002, promising to return it to its former glory after years of under-investment.

But Sudarghara, the chief executive, said that since last year pub sales had dropped by between 15 and 20 per cent because of the smoking ban, and added that the credit crunch had also helped to “cripple the business”.

Source: Asian News.  Link

Magician avoids smoke-free ban

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

AFTER 10 months deliberation officials have ruled a Stourbridge magician’s vanishing lit cigarette trick will not have to disappear.

John Milner, from The House of Magic (UK), Brook Street, has been given limited permission to carry on performing the trick despite the nationwide smoking ban.

John, who is a member of the Inner Magic Circle and International Brotherhood of Magicians, asked Dudley Council whether he could continue to include the trick in his act after the ban on smoking in public places became law in July 2007.

After referring the question to the Local Authorities Coordinating Body on Regulatory Services (LACORS), the council wrote to John on May 30 saying his performance would be exempt from the regulations.

The magician is perplexed by a ruling he cannot demonstrate or rehearse the trick at The House of Magic (UK).

John said: “If anyone in the shop wants to see this trick performed live we will have to step out onto the pavement.”

Source: Halesowen News. Link

Pubs Under Pressure

Monday, July 28th, 2008

New figures show pubs are closing down at their fastest rate ever and in a special investigation, the Guardian’s KARL HOLBROOK looks at how the smoking ban, longer opening times, rising taxes, cheap supermarket booze and changing attitudes have hit Leyland pubs.

Anyone thinking about running their own pub in Leyland has been spoilt for choice lately.

That’s because there are currently three pubs on the market and two others have been taken over by new landlords in recent weeks.

Also, rumours have emerged that other pubs are close to being put on the market and local landlords say they are struggling to survive.

“A pub is now closing every six hours in this country and nobody is doing anything to stop it.

“The government keep putting taxes up, levies get harder from the breweries, the smoking ban took about 20 per cent of trade away and supermarkets under-cut everyone with cheap booze promotions.

Paul Fields, who runs the Dunkirk Hall in Dunkirk Lane, is another landlord who is quitting the business because of slumping trade.

The experienced publican blames the introduction of the smoking ban, which came into force on July 1, last year.

He said: “I’ve been brought up around pubs and it saddens me what is happening. The smoking ban has hit everyone hard.

“Last year I had to spend about £3,000 preparing for the ban with smoking shelters and things, but it didn’t make a difference.

However, landlord Dave Sutherland said he quit the Broadfield Arms, in Leyland Lane, earlier this year because the ban wiped out 30 per cent of his trade.

“The fact of the matter is that we have lost an awful lot of local pubs and we are going to lose a lot more.

According to Mr le Clercq, 1,400 pubs closed across England last year, compared to just 255 the previous year.

Source: Leland Guardian.  Link

Geelong violence linked to smoking ban

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Police have expressed concern at the number of smokers who gather outside licensed venues for a puff, believing that the combinations of mobs on the footpath and passers by present the potential for trouble.

He said the lack of facilities pushed smokers out of a controlled environment and on to the street, citing the assault of a 19-year-old man outside popular venue Club 4 Play last Saturday as an example of increased potential for violence.

“For example, outside of Club 4Play is far too crowded. It has the potential to go bad and I can see why that assault from last weekend happened.”

On the occasion Chief Insp Carson alluded to, a man had a glass bottle smashed across his face while standing outside the Moorabool St nightspot. Chief Insp Carson said Club 4 Play owner Scott Mackay was working to address the issue.

Source: Geelong Advertiser. Link

Smoke ban: ‘There will be no pubs left’

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Nicholas, aged 44, is a smoker and said he hardly goes to the pub anymore.

“I can get eight cans for a fiver, so I stay at home more now. I think the ban is a negative thing, there will be no pubs left here soon. I can’t see how they will survive. It’s against human rights,” he said.

However, 31-year-old Rebecca, also a smoker, doesn’t mind the ban, and prefers eating out in smoke-free pubs.

She said: “It’s a better environment for people to eat, especially for the little ones.

“But I do think it’s bad in a business sense. I work across the road from a pub and they have been dead since the ban.”

Source: Wales Online. Link

Pubs hurting as smoke ban bites

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

TAKINGS at some pubs have slumped by up to 40 per cent since the smoking ban came into force, a shock survey of landlords by The Press has revealed.

But 17 pubs said trade had fallen because of the ban, in many cases by 20 per cent or more.

Since the start of the year, several pubs – including the Oddfellows Arms, in Pocklington, and The Phoenix, in George Street, York, have closed.

Alan Jackson, who has been landlord of the Edward VII in Nunnery Lane, York, for about five years, said he believed his trade was down by between 25 and 30 per cent because of the ban.

Source: The Press.  Link.

Smoking ban results in 40,000 bars shutting down in France

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

According to an article in Britain’s Times newspaper, the smoking ban has destroyed the nightlife for bars night clubs in France. The article stated that ever since the smoking ban went into effect on January 1st

the French are prefer to stay home and host house parties. A whopping twenty percent of the 200,000 bars in the nation have been closed down. It is stated that 40,000 bars have been shut down since the onset of the smoking ban. The public is choosing to stay at home, smoke and have fun at house parties as the newly preferred style of night life.

Sabah.com Link.

Smoking ban could kill social club

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

THE smoking ban is threatening the future of the Flimby Working Men’s Social Club.

The Chapel Street club is being forced to sell of land around it because of financial problems and last week staff hours were reduced and heating regulated in a bid to cut costs.

Secretary Jimmy Langley said the smoking ban kept smokers and non-smokers away.

He said: “Since the smoking ban we have been fighting closure. The non-smokers have been denied the right to a social pint or two without smelling like an ashtray, but when the numbers dropped, many non-smokers stopped coming in because of the lack of atmosphere. If this goes, the village has had it.”

Mr Langley said the club had been on the site since 1927, when it was a Miners’ Welfare and had been central to village life.

Source: Times and Star, UK.  Link

Smoking ban leaves pubs worse for wear

Monday, June 16th, 2008

One year ago, the smoking ban – a law some said would devastate Britain’s pubs – came into place.

Punch Taverns
Britain’s largest landlord has had a rotten year. Its shares have collapsed by 70% as beer sales fell 10% with total like for like sales 3% worse and halfyear profits down 20%. Falling volumes and customer numbers have come at a time of rising energy and food costs.

Enterprise Inns
The sprawling tenanted and leased pubs chain includes many thousands of country locals, which have had to work harder to repair the trade of the lost bar-propping smoker. Its shares have fallen 35% in a year – not as much as others because of a likely change in tax status to a real estate which will boost to shareholder dividend payments. Latest reports talk of an upturn in trade, though profits have been falling more than 10%.

Best known for its Pedigree bitter, its pubs include some stalwarts of the City as well as the Pitcher & Piano chain. With the shares more than halved in a year and the latest figures showing profits down by almost 20%, ‘resilient’ was the best that chief executive Ralph Findlay could come up with when comparing his bars with the competition.

JD Wetherspoon
Its shares have cratered 60% since the fag ban, despite it leading the way by banning smoking in much of its estate even before it had to.

Ireland: Smoking population up since ban

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

In Ireland last month a piece of news was quietly slipped out through  the back door that you’ve probably not heard about. The number of smokers among the population has RISEN significantly since the introduction of the Irish smoking ban.

The reasons for this should be clear to all but the heavily blinkered. Prohibition simply does not work. Never has done, never will. Drive something underground and it becomes seductively attractive. Lifetime non-smokers are trying ‘that first cigarette’ so they don’t feel left out when accompanying their smoking friends – you see this all the time outside pubs.

This has come as something of an embarrassment to Irish govt health tzars and the likes of ASH-Ireland who are absolutely furious. “These figures clearly show that no progress is being made despite the immense success of our smoking legislation”, commented Prof Luke Clancy of ASH.

How can ASH declare the ban a ‘success’ when all it has achieved is to close around a quarter of Ireland’s pubs, removed choice and destroyed that certain social mystique the Irish were once free to enjoy?

Source: The Publican. Link

Landlords’ smoking ban woes

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

A YEAR after the smoking ban was introduced, pub landlords in north and west Wiltshire have described the “detrimental and costly” effect on their businesses.

Lionel Hadland, who has run The New Inn, in New Road, Chippenham, for the past 18 years, said he had not seen a profit for months.

“I am going to have to approach the brewery and see if I can get a reduction in rent as otherwise I am going to have to move on,” he said.

Mr Hadland who runs the pub with his partner Jane, said they had let a member of staff go because they couldn’t afford to pay her anymore.

The Wiltshire Times reported in May how five pubs in Bradford on Avon were being sold off due to a reported fall in trade, some of which was attributed to the smoking ban.

Peter Everleigh, landlord of The Riverside Inn, said he was selling up because the smoking ban had deterred people from going into pubs.

Source: Wiltshire Times.  Link.

Punch Profit Declines 24% as Smoking Ban Hurts Sales

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Punch Taverns Plc, the largest U.K. pub landlord, said first-half profit declined 24 percent after the company sold outlets, a smoking ban kept drinkers at home and consumer spending slowed.

The company had never posted a first-half profit decline since its 2002 initial share sale. Rivals Enterprise Inns Plc and J.D. Wetherspoon Plc have also suffered since England banned smoking at bars and other public places in July.

Punch said today it has reduced the number of pubs it owns by 9 percent to about 8,450 since the first half of last year.

Source: Bloomberg.com. Link

Pubs blame smoking ban for crisis

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Sixty-four per cent of pubs in England are losing trade since the smoking ban was introduced, according to a survey published by YorView on behalf of pro-choice group Freedom to Choose. Of those establishments, 98% blame the smoking ban for some or all of the loss of trade.

Many landlords report that they have cut staffing levels or opening hours. One landlord commented “the smoking ban is just driving people out of pubs.”

Godfrey Bloom MEP, author of the foreword to the report, said: “With over 20 pubs a week closing, I feel a major cultural platform is being removed from the British people.”


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