Pubs have gone smoke-free for a full decade, but while one side of the industry calls for a major rethink, other pubs are banning smoking from the beer garden too.
A campaign has called for an amendment to smoking ban legislation which would allow landlords to designate “separate, well-ventilated smoking rooms or annexes” in their pubs.
The report by the smokers’ group, Forest, stated that there are 11,383 fewer pubs in England compared to 2006, a decline of 20.7 per cent since the smoking ban was introduced on July 1, 2007.
It said the area that saw the biggest decline in pubs since the ban was the Midlands, with a demise in numbers of 23.7 per cent, and summarises that the smoking ban has had a major impact on pub closures.
However, the plea comes weeks after the Myrtle Tavern in Leeds announced an all-out ban on smoking in its garden.
Anti-smoking campaigners have hailed the pub, and landlord Scott Westlake told The Mirror: “We've seen a huge increase in families with young children using the outdoor area and we want to make sure the beer garden is a safe and smoke-free environment for children and parents alike.
"It's a decision that hasn't been made lightly, we understand a lot of our customers do smoke, however, we feel it's an important step in the right direction."
Others have taken to Twitter to discuss their thoughts, with a debate ensuing about how much pub closures are really down to the ban or other factors.
Claiming the smoking ban has made the pub trade stronger is like Ian Faith saying that Spinal Tap's appeal is now "more selective"— Pub Curmudgeon(@oldmudgie) June 29, 2017
But probably more stubborn, I haven't been to a pub since the smoking ban.— Chorlton's Last Tory (@Hard_Specs) June 26, 2017
And I LOVE pubs.
The smoking ban? I think it was when beer became more expensive than petrol in a pub, but cheaper than milk in Tescos— 2Dubya (@CouchPotatoUK) June 27, 2017
Hmm. No doubt some pubs closed because of the smoking ban but to suggest it's been the biggest factor is just not true— Joel Taylor (@JoelTaylorhack) June 28, 2017