Blackpool lights up as landlord of Happy Scots Bar laughs off smoking ban fine with celebration cigarette

A pub landlord who completely ignored the smoking ban by allowing smokers to light up indoors has vowed to continue his fight for smokers’ rights despite being fined for flouting the ban.

Hamish Howitt, the owner of Happy Scots Bar on Rigby Road, Blackpool, is the first pub owner in England to be convicted of breaching July’s smoking ban legislation.

He was fined £500 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

But the penalty will have little effect on the determined bar owner, who has been against the new legislation since the beginning, and even set up a political party, Fight Against Government Suppression (Fags).

Outside the court, Howitt, 55, said: “We’re all going back to the Happy Scots Bar now for a smoke. The judge was very fair but he was preaching apathy with his words. Someone has got to stop this law, otherwise it will go through like a juggernaut.”

Howitt has consistently continued to allow his customers to smoke in his pub despite a number of fixed penalty notices being issued to pubgoers, and several visits from the council since 1 July.

Howitt received 12 separate summonses in total, which meant he faced a maximum fine of £30,000. However, he confirmed he had no intention of paying the fines or giving up his fight against the anti-smoking legislation.

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