Een nieuw onderzoek onder 2.600 Engelse pub-eigenaren toont aan dat 68% van hun af willen van het rookverbod. 64% meldt omzetverliezen, waarvan 98% dit wijt aan het rookverbod. 65% van de pub-eigenaren geeft aan in volgende verkiezingen op een partij te gaan stemmen die tegen het rookverbod is en dat is op dit moment de UKIP, de derde partij in het land.
97% van de pub-eigenaren vindt dat de overheid niet in de gaten heeft wat ze de sector aandoet, 96% denkt dat dit nog niet het einde is maar nog meer beperkingen zullen volgen.
In Engeland sluiten op dit moment een record aantal van 4 pubs per dag de poorten.
64% of pubs in England are losing trade since the smoking ban was
introduced, according to a survey published today by YorView on behalf of
pro-choice group Freedom to Choose. Of those establishments, 98% blame the
smoking ban for some or all of the loss of trade. Many landlords report that
they have cut staffing levels or opening hours. One landlord commented “the
smoking ban is just driving people out of pubs”. Problems with providing outside smoking areas were reported by 47%, due to
cost, planning restrictions, noise or a lack of suitable space.
Despite concerns from 58% of landlords about passive smoking being a danger
to staff, many considered the health risks to be exaggerated, wanted
alternative solutions or believed that owners and workers should have the
right to choose.
68% want the ban to end and for choice to be restored to the landlord. One
commented “I think it should be up to the individual premises whether to be
smoking or non-smoking.” Smoking rooms were cited as the most preferred
The survey also revealed that 97% of publicans feel that the government is
unsympathetic towards the problems faced by the hospitality trade, while 96%
expect further restrictions to be imposed. “They listen too much to liberal
do-gooders and not the views of the general public” complained one
respondent. Cheap supermarket booze, taxation, red tape and measures to
combat binge drinking were amongst further sources of concern.
The ban is so unpopular with landlords that 35% say it will change the way
they vote at the next General Election. 19% of these plan to switch from
Labour to Conservative and 43% to ‘other’, with a party that opposed the
smoking ban as the most preferred cited option for that group. “‘I would
vote for whichever party reassessed the smoking ban”, one landlord
Colin Grainger, Chairman of Freedom to Choose says: “This survey shows in no
uncertain terms how devastating the ban has been for those in the
hospitality industry. It should be a clarion call for politicians of all
stripes. The message is loud and clear: the ban is disproportionate to the
perceived harms of second hand smoke.”
Godfrey Bloom MEP, author of the foreword of the report, said “With over 20
pubs a week closing I feel a major cultural platform is being removed from
the British people.”
2,600 pubs and clubs from all over England were surveyed via e-mail and also
through manual responses.
The Freedom to Choose survey follows recent figures from the British Beer
and Pub Association showing that pubs are closing at the record rate of
nearly 4 per day. Despite claims by Health Secretary Alan Johnson that the
smoking ban will not create long term economic problems for pubs, the
Freedom to Choose survey confirms findings from trade publication The
Morning Advertiser that three times as many licensees (57%) blame the ban
for lost trade as those citing consumer-spending slowdown (19%); furthermore
the Morning Advertiser affirms that support for Labour amongst landords is
at an all time low of 3%, with 65% saying they will vote UKIP, the only
party promising to oppose the ban.