Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 18:09 UK

Smoking ban 'has closed 100 pubs'

Man drinking a pint
Another 100 pubs are expected to close in the next 12 months

More than 100 bars in Northern Ireland have closed since the introduction of the smoking ban, it has been claimed.

The Federation of Retail Licensed Trade said that 7% of Northern Ireland's pubs and bars had gone out of business since the ban's introduction a year ago.

Its chief executive Stephen Kelly said: "The much-promoted view that non-smokers would be rushing to premises has not materialised.

"We expect another 100 to close next year."

The Federation of Retail Licensed Trade represents about 1,100 pubs, hotels and restaurants.

Mr Kelly also acknowledged some landlords had fared well since the ban's introduction.

"Some of our members who set up an outdoor smoking area and put on good quality food have done really well," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, it emerged more than 130 people have been fined since a ban on smoking in public places was introduced in Northern Ireland exactly one year ago.

The majority of penalties was given to drivers of work vehicles.





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