Pubs in Scotland have seen drinks sales slump 10% since a ban on smoking came into effect in March, according to an industry group.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association said yesterday (23 August) that almost half of licencees saw a drop in visits by regular customers.

Paul Waterson, the association's chief executive, said: "Generally trade is undoubtedly down. Our members are very concerned because these results have come in the summer when it is usually comfortable smoking outside.

"We were told that business would improve as a result of the ban, something we never believed.  Now even our prediction of 7% loss of business has proved optimistic.  Drink sales look to have dropped by over 10%, and surprisingly even food sales are down 3%."