Who are we?
Save Our Pubs & Clubs: AmendTheSmokingBan.com is a coalition of groups and individuals who believe that the public smoking ban introduced in Scotland in 2006 and the rest of the United Kingdom in 2007 is excessive and should be amended to allow, for example, separate smoking rooms. (We would also like to see single-room bars given the opportunity to choose between smoking and no-smoking, as is currently the case in Germany and Spain.)
The campaign is supported by the consumer rights' organisation Forest, the Working Men's Clubs & Institute Union, the classical liberal think tank Progressive Vision, the Adam Smith Institute, which champions the free market, and the Manifesto Club which campaigns for “freedom in everyday life”. We are also working with a number of licensed victuallers associations (LVAs), which represent many independently-run pubs.
Aims & objectives
We are NOT trying to repeal the ban. Our goal is to persuade the Coalition Government to (a) review the impact of the smoking ban on pubs and clubs, and (b) change the smoking ban so that everyone - landlords, staff and customers - has a choice. (The previous government promised a review of the legislation in England and Wales in 2010 and we believe that a review would give us an opportunity to make our case for amending the ban.)
The aim is to develop the campaign at a local level, encouraging supporters to write to MPs, councillors, local newspapers etc. Our current goal is a lobby of parliament around 1st July 2011 (the fourth anniversary of the smoking ban in England) which will give us an opportunity to lobby members of the new parliament.
Our long-term objective is an amendment to the public smoking ban that will allow people to smoke in a controlled indoor environment without inconveniencing those who do not wish to be exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.
By campaigning for an amendment to the ban we also hope to prevent further restrictions on public smoking - for example, exclusions zones around public buildings, including pubs and clubs, that could have even more serious repercussions on customers and the hospitality trade.
Save Our Pubs & Clubs is strictly is non-party political. Members of parliament from the three main parties have expressed support and we will continue to engage with politicians of all mainstream political parties.
Not only is the present legislation unfair on millions of adult smokers, it is increasingly threatening the existence of the community pub.
Simon Clark, Director, Forest