Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Bring back the Smoking Pub.

The Daily Mail features a story on the Cutting Edge Pub in Barnsley today. A customer of the landlady, Kerry Fenton found a legal loophole in the no smoking act.The Cutting Edge Pub is now a "smoking research centre". Kerry's business was struggling to survive. She said: 'Before our research centre opened we were lucky to get 10 people in at a weekend. It's certainly given business a shot in the arm and it's all in the name of research, legal and above board. On Friday we had 29, on Saturday 31 and on Sunday 46 customers in the tap room.'

Mr Martin, a printer, who discovered the legal loophole said: 'I wanted to have a pub to smoke in before they all closed down. I studied details of the act closely, we drew up the questionnaires and it's taken off in a big way.

'I have already had enquiries from other pubs about introducing research centres and I'm expecting many more to join in.'

Kerry is a non smoker herself but believes her customers should have freedom of choice and asks them to put 50p in a charity box for a donation for cancer research.

The local council, which is responsible for enforcing the ban on smoking in public places, is also looking into the matter.

Simon Frow, Barnsley Council's head of Regulatory Services, said: 'The Cutting Edge is quite clearly not a research or test facility and as such is not exempt under the legislation quoted as an attempted "get out" clause.

'Therefore, the law requiring it to be smokefree applies and we will be enforcing it.'

Of course, the first thing that is going to happen is the authorites will close the loophole and Kerry will get fined £2500

It is thoroughly disgraceful that people have to stoop to this level in order to exercise their freedom of choice. The mere fact that the number of Kerry's customers quadrupled when she opened the pub as a research centre shows that the research the government has put forward is false. 

Pubs are not closing because alcohol is being highly taxed or because of the recession. 

They are closing at a phenomenal rate because of the smoking ban. It's about time that someone rebelled against this inane law and staged a "sit and smoke in".


  1. I'm not a smoker, but I can't see why pubs can't have the freedom to choose whether to ban, allow or partially restrict smoking. They are largely frequented by adults who can make their own decisions.

  2. Exactly. The solution is so simple. Give the Landlord/lady the option to be either a smoking or non smoking pub.

    You can bet your life that the non smoking ones soon allow smoking when they see their competitor's businesses beginning to thrive once again.

  3. "The solution is so simple."
    Sue, we're talking about Labour here. Nothing is simple but their minds. I have never smoked but to just to introduce a blanket ban on smoking is stupid.

  4. Just to stir it up a bit. I'm a recovering smoker. I last smoked in 1983 and gave it up when I was doing 30+ a day.

    I can not now abide the smell of cigarettes; the stench of smoky clothing is disgusting. Why should I have to tolerate a smoke laden atmosphere? My daughter used to work as croupier at a London club and she woke me up at 5am...not by noise but by the appalling stench of stale tobacco she brought in with her. YUK.

  5. I'm just saying, we deserve a choice. No reason why there can't be smoking and non smoking pubs. Why should only non smokers be catered for?

  6. The smoking ban, another reason as if one were needed to hate Labour.

  7. Catosays, I'm a far more recently quit smoker - just a few months - and I can sort of sympathize with your comment because every mention of cigs or smoking makes me miss it. Smelling other people's fag smoke (as opposed to stale smoke smell on clothes which I've never liked) is still hard, but I don't have to tolerate a smoky atmosphere (even if there was one, which there really isn't because of Australia's smoking ban). I can always walk out the door and go spend my money somewhere else. And the same applies to employees - if it offends an employee that should be looking for work in non-smoking premises (non-smoking because the owners decided it rather than the government deciding for them and imposing it), and if businesses that allow smoking can only attract useless bogans to work there because of the smoky environment they'll follow suit of their own accord. I doubt that useless bogans would be the only people wanting to work in "smoking accepted" places though. There'd be a mix of people who either don't object or are themselves smokers. The point is that there certainly should be non-smoking establishments for those of us who don't smoke/never smoked/used to smoke and want to avoid it, and the free market provided that perfectly well without having to get government involved. All it's achieved is to destroy a section of the market because smokers may as well just not bother going out now.

  8. Ooooh, good I thought that might stir things up a bit.
    It's fine with me if you want to smoke as long as you're nowhere near

  9. There is also a theory that if people were allowed to smoke in pubs again, the level of drunkeness and violence would drop.

    The idea is that smoking has a calming effect on people when they are sitting in a pub and people who tend to smoke, will actually drink more because they haven´t the distraction of the act of smoking.

    Rather than being banished outside (which does make some people a bit tetchy), they would stay in the pub and be less prone to picking fights.

  10. I used to drink in the cutting edge back in the eighties. Great pub.

  11. I wish the landlady the best of luck and well done for standing up for what she believes will save her business!

  12. Sadly, to no avail:

  13. Catosays - It's fine with me if you want to smoke as long as you're nowhere near me...lolFine with me if smokers (and I've been off 'em long enough now to feel like a non-smoker) want to smoke, as long as they're enjoying themselves. I don't give a rip where they are in relation to me and the only non-smoking zone I respect, indeed insist on, is inside my car. To be honest I don't even insist on a non-smoking area in a restaurant. If it's too much and they didn't have a non-smoking section I'd take my money elsewhere and leave the place to smokers or people who don't mind either way. Unfortunately individual choice on the matter went west under Howard and the chances of the numpty we've got in Canberra now reversing the ban are about as good as Gordon Brown winning the next election and Britain's Got Talent.