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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 June, 2004, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Smoking ban after pub make-over
The Aubrey Arms sign
Managers of the pub want to create a smoke free environment
Sparking up a cigarette to drink with your pint has been banned from one south Wales pub after a major refurbishment of the venue.

A no smoking policy has been introduced at The Aubrey Arms in Bonvilston near Cowbridge following its make-over.

It is the first pub run by Welsh brewery Brains to not allow customers to light up.

A ban on smoking in pubs has been a legal requirement in Ireland since March, and although there is no prospect of a similar law here, the Aubrey Arms publicans say their ban has been popular with drinkers.

Michelle and Brian Ley who run the bar and restaurant said that they have had customers coming from far and wide after the no smoking policy was introduced six days ago.

Michelle Ley, manager
Michele Ley said that customers had reacted positively

"Everybody has reacted very positively to it," said Mrs Ley who is a smoker herself.

"As soon as people walk in they comment on the nice smell of the place - the fresh smell and not a stale smoky one.

"We have had a few people lighting up in the beer garden but as soon as you explain to them that we are trying to create a smoke free environment they don't mind putting the cigarette out.

"And this is probably one of the only pubs in Wales where there is a nice white ceiling which isn't stained yellow with smoke," she added.

The brewery implemented the no smoking policy to the pub because of its close proximity to another Brains pub where people can smoke if they choose to.

"It's all about choice," said Mrs Ley.

"If people want to have a smoke then there is a pub just down the road, but if they want to come somewhere where there is no smoking then we are here."

Craig Silverthorn
Smoker Craig Silverthorn thinks the ban is a good idea

The move to create a no smoking pub has followed the smoking ban in Ireland.

And customers at the pub have supported the smoking ban.

Craig Silverthorn who lives in Brackla near Bridgend made a special trip to the pub because of its new policy.

"I am a smoker myself," he said.

"But I don't mind at all that you can't smoke here.

"In fact, I came up here especially today because my partner is due to have a baby in August and we wanted somewhere we could enjoy ourselves without having to worry about breathing in cigarette smoke," he said.

Brains retail director Philip Lay said that the smoking ban was a sensitive issue but believes that it is a unique opportunity.

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