Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Smoking ban, five years on: the Inn crowd’s view

Has the ban ruined pubs? And has it helped people to cut down? Regulars at the Union Inn in Levenshulme have their say

Helen Carter, Friday 29 June 2012 22.09 BST

The smoking ban was introduced in July 2007. Photograph: Roy Riley/Alamy

At the Union Inn in Levenshulme, Manchester, the smoking ban was brought in amid a lot of opposition from regulars. Now under new management, the pub, on the main road between Stockport and Manchester, has survived the cull that has seen at least five of its competitors close since the smoking ban was introduced. It was bustling on a muggy Mancunian Friday afternoon.

Graeme Jackson, 57, has been drinking at the pub on and off for 40 years. “There’ll be nothing left for the working classes with the smoking ban. Going to the pub’s an expensive hobby now. People can’t afford it anymore,” he says nursing a pint in one hand and an unlit cigarette the other.

His friend John Cherry, 50, also holding an unlit roll-up and a pint says: “It’s not the smoking ban that’s ruined pubs, it’s the recession. I’m a heavy smoker and I think the smoking ban is the best thing that’s ever happened.

“It makes it more difficult for me to smoke,” he said.

Terry Henry, 72, remembers the days when there were snugs for women drinkers, best rooms and smoking rooms in pubs. “All the men supped together and all the women were in the other room. I can’t see why they can’t have smoking rooms.”

Frank Bamber, 85, a smoker for over 70 years, thinks the smoking ban is a nonsense. “I’ve smoked for 71 years and if it’s going do me any harm, it’s already done,” he says.

“I don’t like that we’ve got to go out there to have a smoke because these people in government say so. They have subsidised prices in the House of Commons bar and need to get their own house in order before taking it out on us.” He nips out of the pub to the back yard. “Sorry, love,” he adds. “I’ve got to go for a smoke.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>