Smoking bans would benefit all involved

Smoking bans in pubs and cafés would protect the health of thousands of UK
hospitality workers and lead to increased profits for landlords and restaurant
owners, an investigation has concluded.

The investigation, by the TUC-backed magazine Hazards, analysed 97 studies
conducted in eight countries and found ‘the most rigorous and independent’ ones
reported that bans had no negative impact on the profits of pubs, clubs, and

Controversially, it also concluded that all existing studies pointing to
negative impacts on worldwide trade were funded by sources in some way related
to the tobacco industry.

As a result, the TUC and lobby group, Action on Smoking and Health, are
urging the Government to take note of independent research, and to ignore
studies funded by the tobacco lobby.

Under pressure from the pub and restaurant trade, the Government has so far
rejected advice from the Health and Safety Commission for a legally-binding
code to force employers to ban smoking or take stringent measures to protect
workers from other people’s smoke, preferring a voluntary code instead.

Within the UK, the TUC found three independent pieces of research that could
find no evidence of any negative impact from smoking bans already in existence
in pubs and bars.

Two other surveys – with unclear funding sources – said bans would be bad
news for businesses, with one predicting that pubs would lose around 41 per
cent of their custom if they were forced to ban smokers.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary elect, said: "Ministers should
not be deterred from acting by the results of misleading surveys promoted by
organisations keen to see bars and restaurants remain unhealthy for workers and
customers alike."

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