Smoking ban 'will encourage families'

YOUNG families and mature women will become the new regulars at pubs when the smoking ban is enforced this summer, new research has suggested.Pub giant Greene King has found that more mature women and families will be encouraged to use pubs once smokers have been sent out on to the streets.

YOUNG families and mature women will become the new regulars at pubs when the smoking ban is enforced this summer, new research has suggested.

Pub giant Greene King has found that more mature women and families will be encouraged to use pubs once smokers have been sent out on to the streets.

More than a third of women between 45 and 54 years old currently avoid pubs because of the smoke and more than half plan to visit more after the ban comes into force this summer, the research found.

Customers at The Fox in Bury St Edmunds, which has already gone smoke free, said they much preferred eating and drinking without the stench of cigarette smoke filling the air.


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Despite being a smoker, Susie Medcalf, who lives in the town, said she preferred eating in a smoke-free pub.

“I do think more women will be coming out for a drink when the ban comes in and coming out for a lunch or dinner - it smells nicer where there is no smoke,” she said.

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But Emma Ellis, from Felixstowe, said she did not think the ban will encourage women to go out more.

“I am a smoker and if I was going out with my girlfriends for a night out I wouldn't choose somewhere because it was smoke-free, I would choose on the quality of service.

“But I am a mother and if I was taking my children out for a meal I would definitely choose somewhere there was no smoking.”

In the Greene King survey, eight out of 10 women said the ban would make pubs a much more appealing place to socialise, and 31% of young parents who have previously avoided taking their children to pubs for a meal said they would reconsider.

Peter Harclerode, co-ordinator of the Smoke Free Suffolk Alliance, said: “There are quite a few pubs in Suffolk that have gone-smoke free and they have said the customers have changed because of that.

“They suffered a drop initially but picked up once the new customers, like the mature women and the families, started visiting. People start to sit down and eat rather than just go in for a drink.”

Greene King said, overall, almost half 46% of Britons surveyed said they would be more likely to visit pubs after the smoking ban takes effect on July 1.

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