Study shows pub takings up by 7% when no-smoking areas introduced

Tuesday 23 November 1999

ASH/ Press releases/


102 CliftonStreet, London EC2A 4HW Tel: (0207) 739 5902 Fax: (0207) 613 0531

Press Release
23rd November 1999
Embargo: 00:01
Action on Smoking
and Health

Study shows pubs takings up by 7% when no-smoking areas introduced andcustomers think it’s a good idea

A new study of the economic impact of introducing no-smoking areas in pubs shows it to be good for business, with takings up by seven percent on average. Customers surveys also showed that pub-goers overwhelmingly supported the move — 74% of those surveyed said is was a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ idea. The study focused on pilot no-smoking areas in 10 pubs in Staffordshire. It was organised by South Staffordshire Smoke-Free Alliance and launched jointly with ASH at a pub in London today.

ASH Director Clive Bates said: “This study provides clear evidence that smoke free areas are good for business. No-smoking areas are the next profitable trend in pubs.”

“Landlords are understandably nervous about changing the formula they offer the customer and we hope this will boost their confidence to put in a no-smoking area if they can. It should make good business sense to provide decent facilities for the two thirds of adults that don’t smoke.” said Bates.

“Just under a year ago, the pub industry signed up to a Public Places Charter which promised to improve conditions for non-smokers. With this sort of evidence ASH is pressing the industry to move on from talking and to start delivering on its commitments.” said Bates.

Bates stressed that: “We are not taking a health message to the pubs and restaurants or lecturing anybody. This is about the business of catering well for the customers that don’t smoke. This work shows that no-smoking provision in pubs and restaurants is practical good business”

There is a lot of middle ground between a total ban on smoking and no provision at all for non-smokers. Pubs can try a small no-smoking area, or even make the no-smoking area policy flexible so that their policy suits the time of day and ‘flows’ of the business. The research released today from Smoke Free Staffordshire Alliance, as well as ASH’s recent ‘Bad for Business?’ report will help publicans by showing what has already been achieved in practice by successful pubs.

Press Conference: 9.30 am 23rd November 1999, Hamilton Hall Pub, Liverpool St Station, EC2. The report will be released at the press conference.

Notes to the Editor

What do people think is right?

The Office for National Statistics conducts polling on public attitudes to smoking. The picture is as follows (1997 data):

Smoking status
Percent agreeing that smoking should be restricted… Current smoker Ex-smoker Never smoked All adults
…at work 69 86 92 84
…in restaurants 69 88 93 85
…in pubs 24 57 64 51
…in other public places 70 86 89 85

Freeth S. Office of National Statistics, Smoking-related behaviour andattitudes, 1997. The Stationary Office, 1998.



Contact Clive Bates, Director (0207) 739 5902
Heather Temperton, Lead Researcher 01785 220977 x 5953

RegisteredCharity No 262067
Action on Smoking and Health is a company limited by guarantee.  Registered inEngland No 998971.  Registered address as above