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Well, another year passes with yet more decline, devastation, social exclusion and despair. Over 10,000 pubs now closed in England and Wales alone, and on-trade beer sales down 26% against the last full year before the ban. Whole swathes of the pub and club trade have completely had their guts ripped out, and plenty of pubs still trading are effectively “running on empty”. Not really a lot I can add to what I said last year – where is Pete Robinson when you need him?
While I have never claimed that the smoking ban has been the sole cause of pub closures over the past five years (and neither, to my knowledge, has anyone else) what is infinitely more ludicrous is the continued insistence of many antismokers that it has had no effect whatsoever. Watch out for the denialistas in the comments.
Of course, if you believe the Guardian, everything in the pub garden is smelling of roses – a piece effectively deconstructed by Chris Snowdon.