A most poignant story out of the UK, posted by a landlord on one of our affiliate sites – Freedom 2 Choose. I copy it here in it’s entirety, as it speaks for itself and needs no comment.

QUESTION: What do Unicorns, Fairies, and Non-smoking Pub-Goers have in common?

ANSWER: They are all mythical creatures!

The smoking ban has been in effect for just over two months now and I have yet to have the hoards of non-smokers, who repeatedly said, “If it wasn’t so smoky and my eyes didn’t sting and my clothes wouldn’t stink of cigarettes smoke, I’d go to the pub” descend upon my pub en masse as promised! Therefore I am left with no choice but to put them in the same category as Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, although lovely, they just don’t exist!

The smoking ban has left both a tangible and non-tangible negative effects upon my business. The non-tangible effects are, social divide, friends losing contact, lack of ambience, and an empty pub. The atmosphere has changed for the worse. The fun loving folk are either subdued or spend the entire time in the garden (rain or shine) and the fabled non-smoking absentees are still absent.

The tangible negative effects are that I’ve spent a great deal of money to accommodate for my smoking customers by having the beer garden landscaped, erecting a shelter (which adheres to government guidelines), installing seating, purchasing propane heaters and having two wide screen televisions installed. In fact the only thing missing from my beer garden is the bar itself! But all the time and money spent on the beer garden still haven’t had any effect on the decline in business since the ban.

This is a family run pub and a home to myself and my wife, our three children, two dogs, one psychotic cat and one paranoid hamster. If business carries on as it has since the ban, not only are my wife and I in danger of losing our livelihood but the two of us, along with our three children, two dogs, psychotic cat and paranoid hamster will be left homeless. This all caused by government legislation, so will we be entitled to claim back our losses from them like the farmers did?

It appears to me that people are making this out to be a battle: Smokers vs. Non-Smokers, which shouldn’t be the case. It should be smokers AND non-smokers vs. the government. Instead of fighting amongst ourselves, we should join together and stand up to the government for whittling away at our freedom to choose what is best for ourselves and our families.

Regardless of whether you agree with the smoking ban or not, it is just one more law passed that keeps us from making our own decisions. Laws on how to raise our children and giving criminals more rights than law abiding citizens springs to mind. What’s next? Will they be issuing us vouchers that we can exchange for our recommended units of alcohol or recommended units of junk food? I can see it now, packets of crisps being sold on the black market!

The last time I checked this was still a democracy. We pay their wages therefore, the politicians are employed by us, to work for us, not to dictate to us! I think they have forgotten that very important fact and we as a nation should remind them of it.

Mr. Carl Ashley-Landlord



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