Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Can we blame the smoking ban for pub closures?

Can we? Or is it the general decline of the licensed trade, supermarket prices and all those things that anti-smokers love to blame, forgetting how many recessions pubs have survived in the past?

Two recent papers are pointing firmly toward the smoking ban, pointing out that there have always been underlying problems but the sudden fall in demand in many establishments from their core customers has been an added shock that accounted for the great escalation in pub closures over the last three years.

Paper 1 Smoking Gun, is a research paper carried out by CR Consulting for the Save our Pubs and Clubs Campaign.
Paper 2 is a research paper by David Atherton of Freedom2Choose (UK) for the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Campaigners south of the border are still pushing hard for an amendment, on the basis of economic damage. Of course they are right, the damage to pubs, publicans and their families has been devastating. But even if I were proved wrong about the economic consequences, the ban itself is objectionable on so many other grounds that I would still be opposed to it.

Link to Taking Liberties for action on UK ban.

Edit: it seems that would-be reformers have an uphill task in their attempts to amend the ban.

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