Letter: 20 August 2011

Let’s have smoking rooms

I WRITE to congratulate Derek Rowlands (Letters, August 11) on his common sense.

I have argued for almost as long as the smoking ban has been in force that it is, along with high taxation on alcohol, damaging Britain’s pub trade and that the Government should review the way it is implemented.

For decades, pubs were seen as the place where you would meet friends and socialise with a pint and a cigarette, cigar or, as Mr Rowlands points out, a pipe.

Aside from socialising, what incentive is left for pub-goers? For almost the cost of a pint, you can get a four-pack from the supermarket and, when you want to smoke, you have to go and brave the elements to do so.

There should be no reason why anyone who does not wish to inhale second-hand smoke (including staff) should be forced to do so, but, similarly, upholding the ban as it stands simply makes many pubs unsustainable.

The law should be amended to allow for a separate, suitably ventilated room for people to smoke, drink and socialise to save at least some of those struggling pubs.

Alan W Collins, Balsall Heath