British pub finds smoking ban loophole: report

May 13, 2009

The landlady of a British pub has exploited a loophole in the country's smoking ban by opening a "smoking research centre" where drinkers can light up legally, reports said Wednesday.

Locals at the Cutting Edge pub in Barnsley, northern England, must fill in a questionnaire on their smoking habits to satisfy legal requirements before sitting down for a drink and a cigarette in the centre.

England and Wales introduced a ban on smoking in enclosed public places in 2007, contributing to tumbling beer sales which have forced over 2,000 pubs to close in the last year, according to the British Beer And Pub Association.

The Cutting Edge's landlady Kerry Fenton opened the centre, which is a separate room in her pub, five days ago.

"It's given business a shot in the arm and it's all in the name of research, legal and above board," she told the Sun newspaper. "I'm a non-smoker but I believe in the freedom of the individual."

The loophole in the law was discovered by pub regular James Martin, a 40-year-old printer. The local council told the paper it intended to enforce the at the pub.

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 39

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JerryPark
5 / 5 (1) May 13, 2009
Excellent.

Whenever big brother interferes with individual rights, it is refreshing to find that some people have discoverd a remedy.
Negative
5 / 5 (1) May 13, 2009
yey! as for non-smokers, their individual right to choose another pub is never questioned!
iknow
5 / 5 (3) May 13, 2009
WooHoo! As a (very considerate) smoker I love it when someone sticks 2 fingers up at the stupid law.
Arkaleus
5 / 5 (3) May 13, 2009
Once the basic framework of civil law has been created and the society has stabilized, what else can a law making body do but start ninnying with petty laws? Does the government have any business regulating the number of peanuts you eat, or how you crack eggs?

Perhaps the number of squares of toilet paper you use will become a hotly debated environmental topic, ending up with new forms of taxation and criminal penalties for this highly anti-social behavior.

Perhaps it's time for the civilized west to reconsider the structure of their governments. We don't need more laws. We already have a sufficient framework of law to provide protections for life, liberty and happiness. Beyond that the government can only do harm.

We need to limit the influx of new laws, most of which are used to profit a few oligarchs and monopolists anyway. We need to do this before both our governments (USA and UK) start deciding they really don't need the vote or approval of people anymore to hold power. That's just like the bad old days, if anyone can remember history.
bchzd2
4.6 / 5 (5) May 13, 2009
people like fhtmguy really annoy me. It seems to me, that is if you read well enough, that it has caused a number of pubs to close because of the ban. This is how these people make a living. I am a non smoker and I have a choice to move/leave whatever. You apparently are one of those officious pricks that just bitches. Noone said you HAD to be subjected to it. Why does a smoker have to be subjected to your complaints? On top of that....walk into any pub and find out how many are smokers. I bet the majority of them. So in fact you are subjecting the smokers to your crap. Now what. Restaurants and such where children may be present....That I can see. Grow up and piss off asshat.
fhtmguy
1 / 5 (4) May 13, 2009
Bchzd2, your response was quite mature....whatever! Im not subjecting smokers to something that is proven to kill you, period! If you don't understand the difference then you need more education. Like I said I believe in individual rights until your actions affect others. Then it's not individual anymore, now is it. I am grown up enough to realize that if I were smoking and somebody was breathing my smoke I am forcing my decisions on them. Fortunately I live in a country where I can annoy you all I want. My words can't kill but second hand smoke does. Everybody is entitled to their opinion but not everyone bases their opinion on the facts.
DesmondMurse
5 / 5 (2) May 13, 2009
You are subjecting yourself to second hand smoke by hanging around people who smoke, it is your right to walk away. Public places are that, public, so get ready to deal with what the public has to throw at you. If you dont like smoke, dont be around smokers, dont subject smokers, especially conciseness ones, to your squeals of disapproval. We are all aware that smoking is bad, causes COPD and will KILL us! thanks for reminding us?
Pasty745
5 / 5 (3) May 13, 2009
fhtmguy, You are right in your facts about second hand smoke. But you are wrong about a pub being a "public" place. Sorry but unless the pub in question is ran by the government it is considered a private business. Which means that they should be able to decide if they want to ban smoking themselves. Not the government deciding for them. If you don't want to be around smokers, don't go to the pubs that allow it. Simple as that. I don't see why you have to get your knickers in a twist about this. I am a non-smoker but I could care less about if someone wants to light-up near me if I am in a bar. Hell, I would be mad myself if the pubs in my area were forced to ban smoking. If you are concerned about health, maybe you shouldn't be drinking. Go to the park and feed some birds, oh wait, you might inhale some car exhaust. Better just go to a gym.
FreakTrap
not rated yet May 13, 2009
That's ignorant of the fact that you should not have to make a choice to breathe clean air.
\

You right, it should be forced upon you by law enforcement.
LancelotSA
1.3 / 5 (3) May 13, 2009
I registered after stumbling upon this site just so that I could post a comment agreeing whole-heartedly with "fhtmguy".

So a pub has 100 people in it, one person decides to light up and smoke, and the rest of you are saying that the the 99 non-smokers must just pack there things and leave if they are unhappy about being subjected to that one smoker's inconsiderate, and invasive, habit? Does that really sound fair to you? That smoker is free to smoke away at home, or walk outside and have a smoke there in the cold, but no instead it should be the non-smoker who is inconvenienced and be forced to leave?

So those who do not mind smokers next to them in the pub, would you, or the owner of the pub in question, be happy to sit next to me if I had a bad case of flatulence and spent the whole evening passing gas next to you? Well smoking is as invasive! There is no justifiable reason for someone to NEED to smoke in a closed public space. It is easy to step outside for a few minutes! Your habit is antisocial anyway so the few minutes alone should not worry you too much.

SMOKING IS A DISGUSTING HABIT no matter how you try to spin it!
Nx9
5 / 5 (2) May 13, 2009
LancelotSA, so 99 people in a pub cannot ask the pub owner to remove the 1 person who, in this situation, is clearly disturbing his/her other guests?

and to spin it back, if 100 people are in the pub, and 99 of them are smokers, do they all have to put their cigarettes out to "be fair" to one person?

and cigarette smoking IS a social habit, if you're with other smokers


and i registered just to say that =)
Cambionr
5 / 5 (2) May 13, 2009
I also just registered to remark on LancelotSA's falacious reasoning.

See, Lance, what you've done here is a strawman argument. You, rather than addressing the argument realistically, created an absurd argument and then knocked it down. You see, the 99 to 1 ratio is simply silly, and that goes a long way to exposing your argument for what it is, you would like your personal choice enforced by the government.

Others here are saying that they would like everyone involved to have personal choice. If smokers want to smoke, they may, if non-smokers don't want to be around it they may go to non-smoking establishments.

You see, as you inadvertantly point out with your flatulance example, the government should not be legislating pesonal morality or preference. You surely wouldn't advocate criminalizing farting in public (I assume) yet when forced to find an analogy for smoking that's the one you found to be closest.

And as for fthmguy, pubs are not public places, no place is a public place that is privately owned, hence the bristling at the removal of rights. No smoking in a government office, perfectly reasonable, no smoking in your home, unreasonable; so on that scale where does a pub fall closest? Also, you make the case for smoker only pubs being ok, that's really no different than what this pub has done, so you are actually supporting it.


MeetHalfWay
5 / 5 (1) May 13, 2009
To be honest. Quote my name, how about what they used to have in restaurants, or possibly what the still do have i don't know. But an area designated for smokers and non-smokers. Maybe slight issues, but fundamentally both partys are getting what they want.
googleplex
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2009
The issue here is litigation. Providing employment where workers are subject to carcinogenic smoke is a recipe for costly litigation.
Add to this the cost of the public health care for all those hospital cases and it is a no brainer for the government.
I heard that non-smokers were worse off than the smokers because they did not have the filter contained in the cigarette.
I think smokers still use pubs - its just they have to light up outside.
I suggest that the reason for pub closures is economic stress on households. Record high HH debt and a near zero HH savings rate indicate that there is no money left for those expensive pub nights out followed by the inevitable visit to a curry house. Now with job lay-offs maxed out and taxes on the rise I see more nights in with 'tinnies/6 packs'.
fhtmguy
1 / 5 (3) May 13, 2009
It's a good discussion when you can have differing views and not use fowl language to berate a participant. It's called democracy and majority still rules wether we like it or not. I am sure the loop hole will be closed at some point. The system is designed to benefit the majority most of the time. There are some times that seems unfair. People should get involved in a peacful way to support what they believe but then respect the government when a law is established. I definitely don't like the fact that the gov tells me that I have to wear a seatbelt. But I understand the benefit to people who wear them and thus I follow the law. The fact remains that if I chose not to wear my seatbelt I would not be endangering anybody but me. That's the premise behind smoking bans, not endangering those who don't want to smoke. Regardless, smoking bans are here to stay so try find something positive if you can.
alxrbk
5 / 5 (3) May 13, 2009
I'm not going to point out the flaws in anyone's arguments but I would like to say that I believe people have a right to destroy themselves in any way they like. I smoke but I'm always considerate of other people - I ask before I light one and try not to expose others to my smoke because it's not their choice. I am, however, still entitled to enjoy my evening in the same comfort as a non-smoker, which for me, means smoking. I see nothing wrong with what's going on in this pub; those that smoke can enjoy it, those that don't can stay out. I would argue that this loophole is fair in that it gives landlords the ability to choose how they treat smokers, which I think is a good thing.
Schnarr
1 / 5 (2) May 13, 2009
"I'm a non-smoker" but I believe in the right to not be killed by someone else smoking. I don't mind if there are smoking pubs, they can be private institutions for anyone who wishes to inhale toxic fumes.
PTK
not rated yet May 13, 2009
@googleplex
Smokers breath the filtered smoke & second hand smoke so get much worse effects i would imagine.

I see it as a brilliant idea on this pubs behalf, an excellent solution to the lost patronage through non-smoking laws whilst still providing the majority of space for a non-smoking environment.

Hopefully a ventilated space to limit staff exposure.
fhtmguy
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2009
Good discussion guys and gals. This is one issue that will continue to be difficult on which to find middle ground. I appreciate the smokers that are considerate. Your right to smoke should never be jepardized, and nor should my life, from smoke. I grew up in a house where my parents smoked, didn't know any better and I had no choice in the matter. This is why I take every precaution not to subject my kids, who cannot chose for themselves, to harmful circumstance. Let's search the site for the next great adventure.
MeetHalfWay
not rated yet May 14, 2009
i so got ignored.. =/
kiber
not rated yet May 14, 2009
Pubs closing down is simply not true, the tobacco industry is scaring the pub-owners and workers into this.

I'm sorry, but if you are smoking, as you do not exist in a vacuum, you are affecting others around you (including doing vast amounts of pointless damage to yourself) so this behaviour had to be socially regulated.

That argument that a non-smoker can just walk away does not work. Most of my friends are smokers and it is really annoying to have to smell the stuff and cough all the time.

Also, in the pubs, you are subjecting the workers in there to second-hand smoke, they do not get to choose, they have to work there.

Segregating places into smoking and non-smoking area also does not work, as within the same building, the ventilation would let the smoke reach non-smoking areas, as well as the staff who have to circulate throughout the area.

Not saying that smoking should be banned, everyone has the right to choose. But some legal middle-ground has to be found.
Negative
not rated yet May 14, 2009
excellent! we all have rights!

"those that smoke can enjoy it, those that don't can stay out"

the difference between smokers and non-smokers, when arguing about this law, is that the former defend their addiction, and the latter - their sanity.
HarryBarracuda
not rated yet May 14, 2009
It would have been perfectly acceptable to insist on separate air conditioned non-smoking rooms, but non-smokers bleated that this infringed their personal rights.

Don't expect any smoker to sympathise with the moaning wussies when their locals close down for want of customers.
Masticater
not rated yet May 14, 2009
fhtmguy sorry but you clearly aint done ur reasearch. There is NO i repeat NO clear correlation between second hand smoke an cancer. so frankly i base my argument on fact...yours is gibberish. Please think before you speak
Lilkajira
5 / 5 (1) May 14, 2009
i also came across this stumbling, and signed up to post...I used to be a smoker, and although i chose to quit smoking, i still frequent businesses that allow smoking by my own choice. About a year ago I watched a wonderful show called Penn & Tellers Bullshit. They did an episode on this very subject, and found out that, contrary to popular belief, the studies that "Prove" that second hand smoke is dangerous, actually do not. I suggest that if you are going to use this "proof" as your argument, do your research and see what the reports actually say. By the by, my roommate is a smoker, and since I own my home and dont want it smelling like smoke, he does not smoke inside. On the other hand, my favorite book store is also someones private home, and he smokes inside. there are several bars here that allow smoking. and several that do not. As for the 75% of business is from non smokers, then why do places that were once smoker friendly close down after smoking restrictions are placed? And as for employees of said establishments, they get to choose...if they dont want to work in a smoking establishment, they simply do not apply for those jobs...come on people....think. Use common sense...
Negative
3 / 5 (2) May 14, 2009
"There is NO i repeat NO clear correlation between second hand smoke an cancer."

"the studies that "Prove" that second hand smoke is dangerous, actually do not."

really guys... it would have been appropriate to start reading this site thoroughly, before signing in only to post nonsenses. it would have saved you from embarrassment.
Negative
3 / 5 (2) May 14, 2009
"Use common sense."

amazingly, the most insistent appeals to commons sense are emitted from texts consistently lacking the said ingredient.
Lilkajira
not rated yet May 14, 2009
wow...someone agrees and backs up what you say...and you call it nonsense....really now....maybe you should take your own advice and read thoroughly....
funeral
5 / 5 (1) May 14, 2009
I just found a bar that lets me smoke inside anyway. The drinks are cheap and pool is free, too.
WhiteJim
5 / 5 (3) May 14, 2009
Alowing smoking in a private bar or pub should be the decision of the bar and not any government. Its a private business. If any requirement needs to be added is for a sign at the door saying "Caution Smoking Is Permitted Here". That is the only law needed to satisfy non-smokers who can then choose another pub where the "No Smoking" sign is used.
WhiteJim
5 / 5 (1) May 14, 2009
The rest of the nonsense about either's rights is just "smoke and mirrors" to create unecessary government jobs and government activity to consume ever more tax dollars keeping more people people employed in government than absolutely necessary. Which reduces the number of taxpayers working in non-government jobs to pay all of the taxes to support everything includign the people with government jobs that don't actually contribute tax dollars to the public purse.
hipmonkey
5 / 5 (1) May 15, 2009
I'm from the US where smoking is banned in my state. I see the law as nothing but a power trip, a way to control people and let us know who's the boss. See, I know technology is at a level where it would be easy to create a smoking area with a ventilation system that would make non-smokers happy as far as second hand smoke (which really hasn't been proven harmful), but that aside, with the HUGE taxes I pay on cigarettes I think my smoking should be accomadated by "the public." We can't even smoke in stadiums, which our ciggy taxes built. That is obviously wrong to anyone with a brain. But non-smokers don't really care about 2nd hand smoke, they really want to make people be likee them. If enough people stopped smoking they'd have to get those taxes elsewhere. Why not fast foods? That's bad for you too. How about fat people? Tax their fat asses too. No smoking in a pub...how ridiculous. Pretty soon no talking and no drinking. Anyone want to hit this joint? :D
Hannarchist
not rated yet May 15, 2009
I'm from Scotland, and as is usual for new laws in Britain, the smoking ban was implemented here first. And I hate it. I admit, that yes I am a smoker. But sincerely a consciencious one. What irks me is the Big Brother/Nannystate element.
I have now grown used to smoking outside, but with it currently chucking it down (raining) outside, my flatmate is avoiding me.
Anyway, I just think that there could have been a happy medium reached, taking into account all parties human rights. A seperate well ventilated smoking room. With the air expelled into the street, where people can smoke anyway. Away from the bar, so the people working aren't exposed, and the path from the toilets, so non-smokers need never enter that room should they choose not to. It could resemble the old fashiioned smoking carriage on a train, which before I smoked, I didn't even know existed.
However, i totally understand smoking being banned from restaurants and public spaces where children might be present. (See, told you was cosciencious)
Oh and hipmonkey, I was in the pub the other weekend and a group of guys got chucked out for singing along to the jukebox!! It's happening man!
So kudos to this landlady for finding a loophole to satisfy her customers. I applaud her effort, and I hope NOTHING is done.
Hurrah!
Oh and sorry for the ridiculously long speech. ^__^
Pasty745
5 / 5 (1) May 15, 2009
"Also, in the pubs, you are subjecting the workers in there to second-hand smoke, they do not get to choose, they have to work there"

Sorry, but they don't "have" to work there. They chose to work in an establishment. That means that if they have a problem with a place allowing smokers to smoke, then they are going into it by their own accord.

Also I don't think that those of you who are against smoking are getting the point that the smokers/smoker supporters are trying to get at. The choice should be up to the pub owners. Not the staff, government, or the customers. If you want to be free of second hand smoke, don't go to a place that allows it. It really is that simple. I don't see why this is so much of a problem.

As far as the smoking being an "anti-social" thing. It is not, I find that when I am with friends that smoke I meet a lot of new people when they go outside to smoke. And while I am on it, most smokers don't seem to have much problem with going outside to smoke. But I think it is a bit messed-up to make them go outside when there is bad weather (i.e. heavy rain, very cold weather, etc.).
GrayMouser
5 / 5 (1) May 16, 2009
I'm a non-smoker, it irritates my sinuses. However, I think the government treating smokers they way Nazis treated Jews is just plain wrong. The misuse of medical studies to justify this repression is IMHO itself a criminal misuse of public taxes.
GemRuinsKeeper
not rated yet May 17, 2009
>I registered after stumbling upon this site just so
>that I could post a comment agreeing
>whole-heartedly with "fhtmguy".

I registered after stumbling upon this comment just to say that you are an absolute idiot for registering just to post a comment to an online physics journal.

The Internet: Serious Business. :D
Egnite
not rated yet May 18, 2009
Pfft, bunch of pussy non-smokers giving up a freedom because they don't have the baws to ask someone not to blow smoke in thier face :-O What will the government ban next by request from a bunch of pathetic idiots who can't look after themselves?

As a toker I've noticed a small difference since the smoking ban, I used to get kicked out of establishments for blazing one up and I still do, funny that eh! It certinaly makes it more difficult (impossible tbh) for me to be stealthy indoors but then it also gives me the chance to meet many fellow tokers outside at smoking areas who are generally very grateful to share my doob :-D It's especially nice since there's no whiny non-smokers around to moan about us being "criminals"... (no offence to the non-smokers who disagree with the law btw, u guys aren't freedom haters)
crazyhorse
not rated yet Jun 09, 2009
smoking kills, grow clean vegtables instead
crazyhorse
5 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2009
i'm a non smoker, i don't agree with smoking i think it's a disgusting unhealthy and stupid pastime.

but I also believe in freedom, so if someone wants to smoke then let them, don't impose your beliefs on another, by all means use your freedom of speech to converse on the subject but ultimately everyone must decide for themselves.

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