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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
City stubs out smoke ban claims
Smokers outside the Masada Bar
Smokers now have to take their cigarettes outside
A prominent Aberdeen publican believes claims drinkers have been driven away by the smoking ban are flawed, because of the summer football and the heat.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) said a survey indicated sales of alcohol in pubs had fallen.

Colin Cameron, of the Aberdeen Excise Licence Holders Association, said the timing of the survey clashed with the World Cup and warm weather.

The Masada Bar owner said: "It's too soon to be saying it's a disaster."

Smoking was banned in enclosed public places in Scotland, including pubs and restaurants, on 26 March.

Colin Cameron at the Masada Bar
The non-smokers think it's great, and I would say a significant number of smokers have commented on the better atmosphere
Colin Cameron
Aberdeen Excise Licence Holders Association

The SLTA said a 10% drop in alcohol sales was "bad enough" and there would be "worse to come".

Mr Cameron told the BBC Scotland news website: "In Aberdeen there is a vibrant economy, it would not appear that we have suffered in the same way as the survey suggests.

"Most people I speak to have indicated there has been very little reduction in sales.

"Some have reported reductions but others have reported small increases, particularly food outlets and those with good beer gardens."

'Premature conclusion'

He said: "The survey was done in June and July; June had the World Cup and July was very warm.

"The World Cup is not good for pubs as it's on television and not on Sky in the pub.

"And when you get a warm month, many people have barbeques and go away for the day rather than go to the local pub.

"These factors have got to be taken into account before you jump to a conclusion about a reaction."

He added: "To say it will be worse in winter is, I think, premature.

"If anything we may find that more non-smokers are coming out.

"The ban has not had that significant effect, people just go back and forwards to smoke outside and will do that in winter.

"The non-smokers think it's great, and I would say a significant number of smokers have commented on the better atmosphere."




SEE ALSO
Smoke ban 'has hit pub takings'
23 Aug 06 |  Scotland
'Ban has led to drop in takings'
23 Aug 06 |  Glasgow and West

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