A new report says that, more than 700 pubs in Scotland have closed since the smoking ban was introduced. Scotland was the first country in UK to bring in smoking ban in public places. It was in March 2006 that Scotland brought in legislation outlawing smoking in enclosed public places.
Research conducted by Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign showed that 11.1% of pubs north of the border had shut over the past four years. Price slashes in drink prices have got to do something with this, the report says.
Oliver Griffiths, director of CR Consulting, which carried out the research, said: “The decline of the British pub had started before the smoking ban but at a low level. The ban had a sudden and marked impact, accelerating the rate of decline.”
The report showed that almost three years after the smoking ban was introduced 7.1% of pubs in Scotland had closed, rising to just over 11% after four years.
In England and Wales – where smoking in public places was banned later -the report said more than 7% of pubs had closed after almost three years.
Paul Waterson, president of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association says that these factors have strong impact on the closure of pubs and it is time for the government to do something to help the industry and relax the ban.
Seperate smoking rooms to be included in pubs was suggested as one option. But in the positive side, the doctors says that it helped people to change their attitude towards smoking and have clearly underlined the dangers associated with smoking. As a result many have chosen to quit smoking.