Smoke WON’T get in your eyes

Smoke WON T get in your eyes FROM July 1 virtually all enclosed and substantially enclosed public places in England will become smoke-free. Cinemas, pubs, railway platforms and work places will be among the places affected by the ban. The aim of the natio

Smoke WON'T get in your eyes

FROM July 1 virtually all enclosed and substantially enclosed public places in England will become smoke-free.

Cinemas, pubs, railway platforms and work places will be among the places affected by the ban.

The aim of the nationwide ban is to promote a healthier environment across the country so that everyone can socialise, travel and go about their daily lives free from secondhand smoke.

While numerous places, including cinemas and public transport, have rarely authorised smoking, pubs and nightclubs will arguably feel the biggest impact of the ban.

The Crow spoke to pubs in the area to find out their views on July 1 and how the ban might affect their business.

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Manager of The Chequers in Royston, Michelle Parker, said: "I am a smoker but the ban doesn't bother me. It will benefit the staff.

"I don't think it will affect trade, it will bring out those people who don't smoke."

Bar staff member at the Black Bull in Buntingford, Jenna Jones, said: "Personally I am not for the ban but it will be good for a lot of the customers, especially when they are eating.

"It is clever that they have started it in July when no one will mind going outside. I don't think it will affect our trade though."

Alan Martin, manager at The Star in Melbourn said: "It is a shame that freedom of choice is being taken away from people.

"For people's health though it is the only way forward."

Many pubs have already made provision for smokers by installing outside patio heaters and covered areas for smokers to use.

Miss Jones said: "We have a really nice garden that people can use."

The Chequers already has an outside patio area for customer use.

Mrs Parker said: "We are trying to get an extended license so that customers can take their drinks outside after 11pm."

The Boars Head in Royston is also considering the possibility of creating an area for smokers outside the premises.

Manager Alan Whiddington is not so positive about the ban.

He said: "It is wrong the ban is being forced on people who smoke.

"Some customers have started going outside now to prepare for the ban, and we are thinking about making an area for smokers but its not 100 per cent yet."

Back at The Star, Mr Martin said: "We are having a small extension built with lighting, heating and furniture so the ban shouldn't affect our smoking customers too much."

While many landlords across the county prepare for the imminent ban, one pub in Triplow enforced a no smoking policy almost a year ago.

Manager of the Green Man Ian Parr said: "We made the pub no smoking in August last year.

"Going non-smoking has improved the work place environment for our employees.

"There is a better atmosphere for the staff to work in.

"It is a more comfortable place for customers to come into. We provided an outside, covered shelter for customers who smoke."

Landlords failing to stop customers smoking in restricted areas will face a £2,500 fine.

They will also receive on-the-spot fines of £200 if they are not displaying no-smoking signs and this penalty could rise to £1,000 if the matter goes to court.

- Mrs Nihill from Royston: “I’m not going to give up. After 63 years of smoking how could I give up? I just wont go into places that are non-smoking.”

- Jenna Jones of The Black Bull, Buntingford: “I don’t think it will affect trade.”

- Matt Lay from Royston: “The ban is a good thing. I’ve been smoking since I was 18 and I’m trying to cut down anyway. It is a shame to take away the atmosphere in pubs, but if people want to do it they’ll carry on.”

- Lynda and Bob Ford from Bassingbourn: “It is wonderful, the sooner the better.”

- Vicky Godfrey from Royston:

“I don’t smoke and I think it is a good idea. A lot of pubs already have outside areas, so it shouldn’t affect smokers too much.”

Filtering the facts

- Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals of which 50 are known to cause cancer.

- About 85 per cent of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless.

- Work vehicles must be smokefree if they are used by more than one person.

- About 70 per cent of smokers say they would like to quit their habit.

- Smokers can still light up outdoors, at home, or in places considered a 'home' such as prisons, care homes, and hotels.

- A smoky atmosphere is the single biggest reason for avoiding a pub according to a survey published by the Department of Health.

- 70 per cent of people surveyed said the legislation would not affect how often they go to the pub.

- 78 per cent believe that going smokefree will have a positive effect on health.

- 79 per cent of people support the legislation.

Ban will not bring a wave of fines

THE smoking ban will not herald a wave of fines for businesses, according to an East Herts Council environmental health officer.

Paul Thomas told a meeting of the Buntingford Community Voice on Monday night that the council would not be "wading in" and issuing fines.

Mr Thomas said: "The new legislation states that business owners must make all reasonable effort to ensure that their premises are smokefree. We want to build a rapport with the community, not wade in with lots of fixed penalty notices for the sake of it."

At the meeting Mr Thomas gave a short presentation on the implications of the public smoking ban, which comes into force on July 1, and moved to quell fears that the ban may lead to a rise in littering in Buntingford.

"Indications from areas where a smoking ban is already in place, such as Scotland and Ireland, suggest that there will be no significant increase in littering. However, we are aware of this and will tackle any rise in litter as and when it occurs," he said.