Blog: Chris Brook-CarterNo smoke across the water

Chris Brook-Carter | 2 June 2004

I have just got back from a short holiday to Ireland with eight friends. Sitting in a pub yesterday enjoying the last Guinness of the break, one of the group suddenly said: “You know, it’s not smoky in here at all.”

Perhaps it is surprising that it had taken three days and a number of similar establishments to realise we had been drinking in officially smoke-free pubs all weekend, following the ban in Ireland on smoking in public places. More surprising was that all of us agreed that, on some subconscious level, we had noticed something pleasantly different.

Of course, its easy for a group of non-smokers to feel that way, but coincidently I picked up a copy of the Irish Times on the ferry on the way home and a leader column was extolling the virtues of the new law too. It reported that, in a survey by the Office of Tobacco Control, of 7,500 premises surveyed, 97% were complying with the new law. It also said that the premises had not seen a noticeable drop off in trading. Indeed, non-smokers were now more likely to visit pubs while smokers were no less likely to drop in.

Though I realise these figures, given the source, are unlikely to reflect the full picture, they are encouraging nonetheless and I suspect will add fuel to the calls in the rest of Europe for a similar ban.


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