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Poll: public supports designated smoking rooms in pubs and clubs

Last week, ahead of the launch of 'Smoking Still Kills', ASH's latest tobacco control strategy report (see earlier post), Forest commissioned a new national poll.

I haven't got time to go through all the results (you can read them here), but this one might interest you.

According to the nationally representative sample of over 2,000 people, a clear majority would allow well-ventilated designated smoking rooms in pubs and private members' clubs, including working men's clubs (57% against 43% who wouldn't allow them).

This is not a rogue result. In fact it follows a ComRes poll for the Institute of Economic Affairs in December 2014 that also found support for designated smoking rooms.

Asked whether owners of pubs and private members’ clubs should be allowed to have a private room for people to smoke in if they want to, 51% agreed, 35% disagreed, and 14% didn’t know.

The tobacco control industry likes to argue that the smoking ban has been a huge success and enjoys overwhelming public support. These polls suggest otherwise.

The reason compliance is so high is because of the stiff penalties that can even lead to landlords ending up in jail.

The detail is quite interesting too:

  • Men are more in favour of pubs and private members’ clubs being allowed to provide a well-ventilated designated smoking room to accommodate smokers; 62% vs. 51% of women.
  • As age increases so does the likelihood of thinking that pubs and private members’ clubs should be allowed to provide a well-ventilated designated smoking room to accommodate smokers; 49% of 18-34 year olds, increasing to two thirds (66%) of those aged 65 and over.
  • Those working in the private sector are more in favour of pubs and private members’ clubs being allowed to provide smoking rooms; 57% compared to 49% among those working in the public sector.
  • Respondents living the West Midlands are the most likely to think that pubs and private members’ clubs should be allowed to provide a well-ventilated designated smoking room to accommodate smokers (63%), and those living in the South West are least likely to (48%).

Here is Forest's response:

"It’s clear there is substantial support for designated smoking rooms in pubs and clubs.

“No landlord or proprietor should be forced to accommodate people who want to smoke but they should have a choice.

“It’s time the government reviewed the impact of the smoking ban on pubs and local communities and considered an amendment to the existing legislation.”

The Populus survey was carried out on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. If I have time I'll return to it later. The Forest press release is on our website:

See Poll: Public believe tackling obesity and alcohol abuse more important than further anti-smoking measures.

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Reader Comments (7)

I'm not sure why we don't make more of the fact that other countries including in the EU seem to manage perfectly well to have well-ventilated designated smoking rooms in pubs and clubs, without causing outrage to customers, or law suits galore from employees who have to work there.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 20:21 | Unregistered CommenterRose

It is time to seize the momentum. A majority supports amending the smoking ban to allow smoking rooms (a majority also supports smoking in parks and private vehicles without children). Amending the smoking ban and stopping additional bans is apolitical imperative.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 20:43 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

This only backs up the WMC survey which clearly stated that 98% wanted smoking rooms in their clubs & 99% stated that there should always have been CHOICE! So not a lot has changed since then Simon!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 22:12 | Unregistered CommenterPhil Johnson

I am guessing that results of these polls will not appear anywhere on the BBC.

The public and its representatives are routinely misled by the MSM into believing that the ban is universally supported and that smoking has been denormalised. The only time that the BBC ever reports any serious opposition to public health extremism is when, like yesterday, the healthists argue with each other. Even then,the whole discourse then revolves around health and what irrelevant, inexpert organisations such as the BMA think.

Liberty and pleasure are not aspects of smoking or vaping that the BBC wants to talk about, nor is the social devastation wreaked by the bans it tacitly supports through its extremely narrow establishment biased focus.

The vast majority of people in the UK rely on the BBC for news. It is hugely influential. It is a major contributor to the medicalisation of UK society and the advance of healthism. Unless it can be persuaded or forced to change, then it is hard to see how more rounded and mature arguments will ever gain traction.

I pick on the BBC not because I dislike it but because I expect it to be better due to its unique funding and the responsibility its dominance of UK public opinion demands.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 10:02 | Unregistered CommenterChris Oakley

If you recall the vast majority wanted choice instead of an outright ban in 2007 but the T.... at ASH perverted the figures, turned them around and said more people hated smokers than liked them so wanted them turfed out of their communities.

The sad truth is, the Govt will ignore your poll as it ignored the vast majority who said NO to plain packs and as it ignored the vast majority who didn't want a ban in cars, like it ignored the vast majority who always wanted choice.

We know the DoH is corrupt having been infiltrated by smokerphobic political lobbyists and those same lobbyists - Arnott and Black - make all the decisions and no one can stop them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 13:06 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

This country is in a poor state whilst politicians use dictatorial health zealots to legitimize their existence.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 18:25 | Unregistered Commentergray

Strange that the Southwest had a smaller proportion voting to allow a designated smoking room as we seem to have a very large amount of pubs annually closing !

Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 17:24 | Unregistered CommenterGraham Anthony

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