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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 February 2007, 09:08 GMT
Try smoking ban, businesses urged
Cigarette
The ban in Wales will be three months ahead of that in England
Firms in Wales are being asked to try out a smoking ban to get ready for the arrival of the official ban in April.

"Try It" urges firms to bring in a ban on smoking in public places for an hour, a day, or even permanently.

But while one Powys hotelier said a ban before the official date could be a "death knell," a Llanelli cafe said it had already been good for business.

The launch coincides with Wales' first Six Nations game against Ireland, which introduced its own smoking ban in 2004.

We sell more food, slightly less coffee in the morning, but we're a food-driven business
Taliesin Einon, restaurant owner

Last week, AMs voted to go ahead with a ban on 2 April, despite attempts by one Conservative and two Labour AMs to delay it by three months to bring Wales in line with the date of England's legislation.

Clwyd South Labour AM Karen Sinclair had claimed an April date could mean pubs in border areas would suffer financially if smokers crossed to England.

Bob Davies, of the Kilverts Hotel in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, agreed a smoking ban could be detrimental to business.

Mr Davies, a non-smoker, said there had been a ban at the hotel when they took it over three months ago.

But if the ban had not been imminent he would "definitely" have reconsidered the hotel's policy, as an early smoking ban could be a "death knell", he claimed.

There are people who would have liked to come to this place for an evening and they've decided to go to other bars in the area because they allow smoking
Bob Davies, Kilverts Hotel, Hay-on-Wye

"It's certainly affected this business," he said.

"Most definitely, there are people who would have liked to come to this place for an evening and they've decided to go to other bars in the area because they allow smoking."

Mr Davies said he would not recommend other businesses bring in a ban before the official date, but after April they would all be "in the same boat".

However, the owner of Italian café/restaurant Altalia in Llanelli said its smoking ban had been beneficial.

Taliesin Einon said he had brought in the ban two years ago due to public demand, and he would recommend others do so.

"We sell more food, slightly less coffee in the morning, but we're a food-driven business," said Mr Einon.

"It gives us the edge in this area, because everywhere else is smoky. I'm hoping we've gathered a market that will stick with us (when the ban comes in)," he added.

Denbighshire Council is among those backing the campaign.

Councillor Eryl Williams, the council cabinet lead member for the environment, said: "With the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces in Wales fast approaching we would like to encourage as many Denbighshire companies as possible to try being smoke-free as soon as possible."




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