What the papers say: BBPA ramps up pub smoking ban

Five major players of the British Beer and Pub Association ran the media gauntlet last week, announcing a voluntarily imposed smoking ban across 22,000 premises.

Punters were told that their ‘Last gasp in the bar’ (FT, 11 September) would take place before the end of 2005, while 80 per cent of floor space in a third of UK bars would be smoke-free by 2009.

With Ireland and Norway recently imposing total bans in public spaces, cynics said the ruling was a sap to avoid similar Government-led restrictions across the UK.

ASH, the most outspoken opponent, said the ruling was little more than a spin on a ‘smoke-free initiative’, while leaving ‘non-smoking customers gasping’ and failing ‘to protect pub workers from the grim toll of death and disease’ (Guardian, 9 September).

This brought opinion polls from all quarters. The result, typical British ambiguity: ‘64 per cent think what we smoke is, frankly, up to us. Same with booze. And fat. So while we are concerned about Britain’s health and want something done, we don’t trust politicians to do anything, and don’t want … lecturing … on how to live our lives’ (adamsmith.org, 10 September).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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