|A YouGov survey released today by Action on Smoking and Health and the British Thoracic Society shows that the English are set to welcome smokefree pubs with open arms – and open wallets. One in four (25%) expect to visit pubs more often and one in six adults (16%) expect to pay more visits to cafes and restaurants. Fewer than one in ten (9%) say they will go to the pub less often after July 1st.
The reason for this is that although the English don’t like to make a fuss, they really are bothered by other people’s tobacco smoke. Half of those polled said they are “very much” bothered by other people’s tobacco smoke and a further 24% are a little bothered, making a total of 74%. Women especially report that they are bothered by tobacco smoke (76%) and 28% expect to visit pubs more when they go smokefree. Another surprising group of people who intend to visit pubs more often once they go smokefree are the 25-34 year olds (32%). This group has one of the highest smoking prevalence rates in the UK.
The key 25-44 age groups (32% of 25-34 year olds and 30% of 35-44) expect to go to the pub more often, out numbering by more than two to one those who expect to stay away. Even among the over 55s more than twice as many expect to visit pubs more often (21%) than those who expect to visit less often.
All good news for the hospitality industry and their staff as smokefree legislation will benefit not only the health of the workers but also benefit the hospitality trade.
Dr Lawrence McAlpine, Chair of the BTS Tobacco Committee said,
“With almost 4 million smokers in England intending to quit in the first year of this momentous law, the potential health gain is enormous. This is a major one off opportunity and the NHS needs to poised to really drive smokefree home this summer.”
Martin Dockrell, Policy and Campaigns Manager of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:
“This is very encouraging. Record numbers of smokers – especially the young – are set to quit for good, more people will be going to pubs and restaurants, customers and workers will be healthier. Even smokers are coming on board with almost as many supporting the law as opposing it. Everybody wins except the tobacco manufacturers and undertakers”.