De horecaorganisaties in het Verenigd Koninkrijk zijn razend nu de centrale overheid een gedeeltelijk rookverbod in de pubs heeft aangekondigd vanaf 2008.
Gedeeltelijk betekent in Engeland dat pubs die eetwaren aanbieden (en waar volgens de Engelse anti’s ook kinderen zullen komen), geen roken meer zullen mogen toestaan.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said a smoking ban based on food seemed “designed to drive pubs back to the days when they were drinking dens”.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) meanwhile, is warning that the ban will be divisive for community pubs. Community pubs will face the stark choice of tearing up their food menus or alienating regulars by banning smoking.
CAMRA is still pushing the Government to allow pubs where there are two or more entirely separate rooms to allow smoking in one, while other rooms where food is served are made smoke free.
Chief executive Mike Benner said: “While it’s clear that smoke in pubs needs to be managed, these proposals threaten to split the pub trade, creating polished smoke-free eateries for the middle classes and smoking dens for everyone else.
“The problem is that committed smokers may well switch their custom to small community pubs which don’t serve prepared hot food and the resulting fug may alienate other parts of the local community – no one enjoys sitting in a smoke-filled room. It’s quite possible that small community pubs, which rely on beer sales rather than food sales, will tear up their menus to make sure their smoking regulars are not driven away.
“It is the small community local which is likely to bear the brunt of these proposals should they become law.”