Monday, 23 March 2009


West Midlands UKIP MEP, Mike Nattrass, has launched a major campaign for designated smoking rooms to be reintroduced in public houses to boost the struggling pub industry.

The UKIP MEP said the introduction of the smoking ban in pubs on July 1 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the nation’s pub industry.

With thousands of pubs permanently calling time since the 2008 Budget and with further beer tax increases expected in April’s budget, Mr Nattrass today said the smoking ban, which followed the EU’s Council recommendation 2003/54 calling on all EU member states to “implement legislation providing suitable protection from the effects of passive smoking at working places“, has hit the pub trade hard.

Now, Mr Nattrass has urged members of the community and the pub industry itself to back his campaign for separate ventilated and un-staffed smoking rooms to take their rightful place back in the British local.

Mr Nattrass said: “My view is that smoking in pubs must involve a separate room which is ventilated where no staff are forced to work in the smoke. “It would mean that many customers would return to pubs which are focal points in local communities up and down the country.
“The local pub is at the heart of communities and the introduction of the smoking ban has undermined the British pub,” he added. While UKIP does not like prohibitions and bans in general, UKIP does recognise that the smoking ban has been popular among certain groups, such as families and those wishing to eat out in pubs. However, UKIP believes that a more common sense solution is needed.

UKIP states the smoking ban should be amended to allow pub landlords - freehold, tenanted/leased and managed - and club managers to provide contained and ventilated 'smoking rooms' within pubs and clubs, where customers desire it.