TV chef wants smoking ban review

Antony Worrall Thompson Demonstrates a New Gadget

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TV chef, publican and foodie campaigner Antony Worrall Thompson has launched an e-petition calling on the government to review the smoking ban – which came into force more than two years ago.

Since the ban was introduced many top chefs, and people from the foodie world have backed the Save Our Pub’s ongoing campaign to urge ministers to look again at the ban.

They want pubs to be able to allow designated smoking areas – rooms which would be just for those who wanted to go for a quick fag.

Pubs in Britain are closing at a phenomenal rate of 40 a week, and the British Beer and Pub Association has said that pubs should continue to be at the hub of the community for tourism, and leisure purposes in the UK. 600,000 people rely on pubs for employment.

But ministers have denied that it is just down to the smoking ban.

Although the UK riots of a couple of weeks ago, may have worried some about the effects of nightlife in the UK, the BBPA said that police, community, and publicans should all come together to help the pub industry thrive in the UK.

Bridgit Simmonds, spokesman for BBPA, said: “Pubs have a vital role to play in a vibrant high street. They are vital to tourism and hospitality, and often occupy historic buildings or have taken over retail sites that could otherwise have turned into eyesores.

“Pubs also have a great track record of adapting to meet customers’ needs – look at the huge growth in pub food, the great value to be had, and also the way pubs are investing in state of the art coffee machines.

Worrall Thompson runs The Greyhound pub at Rotherfield Peppard near Henley-on-Thames and is patron of the smokers’ group Forest.


He told the Publican magazine: “Since the introduction of the smoking ban there has been a dramatic increase in pub closures. The ban has damaged local communities with thousands of people deciding to stay at home instead of going out.


“Let’s be fair. Tobacco is a legal product. In Britain ten million adult smokers contribute £10 billion a year in tobacco taxation alone. It’s only right that they should be accommodated in some public places.


“If the government doesn’t want adults to smoke at home in front of the children or litter the streets, they should be allowed to smoke in some licensed premises.”


Simon Clark, director of Forest and the Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign said: “Give landlords and customers a choice. We want the smoking ban amended so licensees can choose to provide a separate, well-ventilated smoking room for adults who wish to smoke.


“Let common sense prevail. A modest change in the law is all we ask.”

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