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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 17:41 GMT
City pubs launch smoke ban poll
Smoker
The Welsh assembly currently lacks the power to ban smoking
Landlords in Swansea are to question drinkers on the level of support for a ban on smoking in pubs.

The Licensed Victuallers' Association (LVA) claimed up to 250 pubs in Wales would close and believed most customers were opposed to the move.

LVA members in Swansea will place ballot boxes in their premises to gauge customers' opinions.

Welsh assembly members may be given the power by Westminster by 2007 to ban smoking in public places.

It's your every day workmen who like to smoke with their pint
Seamus Healy, landlord

Swansea LVA secretary Grey Phillips said: "We will be polling the smokers as well as the non-smokers because we going on the offensive.

"We don't think there is much support for a total smoking ban in Wales and it should be up to the landlords of each pub as to what happens."

Grey Phillips
Grey Phillips says the LVA is going 'on the offensive'

Mr Phillips claimed small and back street pubs would suffer most with a ban. The LVA claimed 15% of Wales' 1,900 watering holes were likely to close.

'Stay at home'

"In the traditional pubs you've got these fellows in their seventies and eighties who would be forced outside into some sort of igloo.

"Stop them smoking and they will stay at home with a few cans."

Seamus Healy, landlord of the Village Tavern in Clydach, Swansea Valley, said: "Looking at my customers I would say 90% are smokers.

"My pub is a drinking man's pub. It's your every day workmen who like to smoke with their pint."

Mr Healy, who is originally from the Irish Republic, said he knew of pubs forced to close since a ban on smoking was introduced there almost a year ago.

But a spokesman for the Republic's Department of Health said: "We are not aware of one single pub that has closed because of the ban.

"If you look at the pub property market their values have gone up."

However, the Vintners' Federation of Ireland said the ban had been damaging.

A spokeswoman said: "We have heard anecdotally that pubs have closed down because of the ban and trade in some areas is 25% down.

"People are coming to pubs later and not staying as long."

  • Meanwhile, Cardiff council said it would be banning smoking from all its public facilities from 1 April, including St David's Hall, the New Theatre, leisure centre bars and community halls.




  • SEE ALSO:
    Smoking ban in city centre pubs
    21 Jan 05 |  South East Wales


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