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« All American alien boy | Main | Great British Pub Awards - nominations wanted for Best Smoking Area »
Wednesday
May042011

Vive le résistance!

H/T Belinda (Pubs counter denormalisation) for bringing my attention to this post: Competition to find the pub with the best smoking area (The Third Estate).

Pubs that have managed to carry on creating a hospitable environment for smokers are, in a certain sense, accomodating to the ban, but they are also resisting it. This is because the ban was not really about passive smoking but, rather about making smoking a more uncomfortable experience so as to push people into stopping.

The video above shows Hawke & Hunter's Secret Garden in Edinburgh which won the Scottish Licensed Trade News Award for Best Smoking Facilities 2010. The award was supported by Imperial Tobacco and I wrote about it here.

Given the current anti-smoking climate and the absence of legal loopholes, pubs and bars that do their best to accommodate smokers (for commercial or other reasons) should be applauded, promoted and, where appropriate, rewarded.

So keep those nominations coming for Best Smoking Area (see previous post)!

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Reader Comments (9)

Isn't this a risky strategy ... the Hawke and Hunter smoking room was shut down by the Council, was it not?

I've already seen two people saying they would nominate their favourite smoking room if it weren't for the risk of unwanted attention from the rauchpolice!

Good initiative if risky though.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 10:22 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

Oh I see ... they removed the panels that stopped rain getting in and that made it allowable. How many customers would want to see their favourite smoking areas befall that fate? Are their contingency plans for dealing with this kind of outcome?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 10:25 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

Quite a few pubs are going down the resistance route but they won't advertise it. They are doing lock-ins after they are officially closed and then out come the ashtrays. lt's risky but they feel they have no option if they are to survive.

As Belinda says l feel many pubs won't want to enter this competition because it will attract attention from the anti-smoking zealots. Added to this is the fear that their smoking shelters and such may be illegal. Most of this is unfounded but the fear climate is real. By becoming the winner you will become a prime target however. The zealots will hate somewhere that gives comfort to smokers and act accordingly to their mantra.

Loopholes? As l understand it there are 2 at least. One is to utilise the 'acting' excemption and the other is to have a room as the landlords private accomodation and invite 'friends' in. Of course this would entail the pub companies growing some but l wouldn't hold my breath.

The IT Spanish site does not work for me. l can find no English version and l'm stuck on 'Madrid' ... what am l doing wrong?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 12:17 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

I'm in two minds about this. I applaud the publicans who have made such an effort to ensure that smoking customers do not feel like a perverted minority; yet wonder whether it suggests we are are happy sitting in a (necessarily) draughty, barely heated "room".

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 12:19 | Unregistered CommenterJon

@Jon ... l agree with you and l refuse to do it. More and more people are going down thw Smoky Drinky route which is in reality making your home a 'public house'. lt's far cheaper and the zealots can't do a thing about it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 13:02 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

Why would pubs be afraid of entering this competition? If they have had permission from the council to erect an outdoor smoking area, what would be the problem? Many pubs have done so without attracting controversy.

Why would zealots target any pub, if they became a nuisance then involve the police or take legal action? You simply say to the zealots if they make a nuisance of themselves that either they behave or they’re barred – for life.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 17:17 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Why indeed JJ? I'm sure the likes of ASH and the Tobacco Control Officers will love the idea of smokers being comfortable and warm ... just to make sure they'll take a closer look. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 0:05 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

Good point SH...good point!

Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 1:01 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Yes, it is a bit of a conundrum. The sad fact is that the zealots, in creating this situation, have almost forced a lot of pubs to stretch the letter of the law in order to keep at least some of their custom.
I suggested on the Curmudgeons post on this subject that it would perhaps be an interesting exercise to compare the level of comfort provided for smokers with the level of business retained post-ban. If provision for smokers was directly related to greater profits then this would provide a clear indication to the industry, and to ASH et al the connection between the ban and pub closures, something they seem to be in denial about. And if it could be covered in the MSM, so much the better.

Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 16:02 | Unregistered Commenternisakiman

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