Thursday, 8 August 2013

Pub Gardens

From the BBC

Of all the unintended consequences of the UK indoor tobacco bans enacted in 2006 and 2007, the transformation of beer gardens and outside seating areas into de facto al fresco smoking lounges is one of the most visible.
Unintended? Apart from the blather about people quitting smoking, the whole thing was that smokers would have to go outside.
Many publicans feared a planned review of the initial legislation would extend the ban into beer gardens and doorways, damaging trade. But in 2010 the Department of Health in England said there were "no plans" to revisit the scope of the ban and the devolved governments have shown no inclination to reverse it.
It's a situation that frustrates those who would rather dine or drink in unpolluted fresh air.
"If people want to smoke outdoors they should be able to, but you don't want kids going where there are people smoking," says Harpham.
As a result, she says, families are often deterred from visiting pub gardens or dining outdoors lest those on adjacent tables set a bad example.
Well, maybe those who would rather drink in unpolluted fresh air and not hanging around with smokers should have thought about this first. The effect of the smoking ban was always going to be that rather than regulars staying in their favourite place, propping up the bar, that they would move outside.
Her solution is for outdoor smoking and non-smoking areas.
Right. And after you've got separate areas, you'll then have people at the edge of the non-smoking areas kicking up a storm that they're still near the smokers, at which point, her solution will undoubtedly be to ban all outdoor smoking, and then you can really kiss goodbye to the last remaining pubs*.

* A lot of pubs aren't pubs now. They might be called the Rose and Crown or The Bell, but they're really restaurants in a pub building.


Mark In Mayenne said...

As a non smoker I can always sit inside the pub ffs. Or upwind.

Mark Wadsworth said...

That article really pissed me off, what a bunch of self-righteous tossers they are.

"Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts" as Dylan once sang.

I suppose the answer is, weather nasty = smokers outside, if weather nice, then pub garden becomes smoke free but we can then go inside and smoke away in peace.

The Stigler said...

Mark in M,

But as a parent with kids, I'd much rather be in the garden. The pre-ban days were harmonious in this regard. The regulars at the bar stayed in the bar, families went in the garden. Both sides were happy. It took the government to properly screw it up.

Mark W,

But that's just giving in, isn't it? These people just want everything done for their convenience. These people have gained from the smoking ban - they never went to pubs and the result is that more pubs have switched to be restaurants which is exactly what they want.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, yes of course it is just giving in, but let's see what the miserable shits have to say to this most noble suggested solution.

Bob E said...

MW - you are far too charitable - the thinking is quite clearly "We'd rather anyone who has ever smoked and especially anyone who still does always stay well away from our Bistro bar and Garden, but if the weather is so bad that we therefore won't be using the Garden we'll grudgingly allow them access to it, but only then ...

Bayard said...

Bet they'd quite happily sit next to a smoking barbeque...

Curmudgeon said...

Reminds me of this story from five years ago.