Light up time for smokers

NON smokers are gearing up to enjoy The Great Indoors, when the national smoking ban for enclosed public places comes into force on Sunday. In part two of our series about the ban, features editor TRACEY SPARLING asks 25 Suffolk venues, can smokers still smoke on your premises? Cock & Pie, Upper Brook Street, Ipswich Adrian Caldwell, manager, said: “Yes we have space for 50 people in the beer garden at the back.

NON smokers are gearing up to enjoy The Great Indoors, when the national smoking ban for enclosed public places comes into force on Sunday. But where can smokers still go to enjoy a cigarette?

In part two of our series about the ban, features editor TRACEY SPARLING asks 25 Suffolk venues, can smokers still light up on your premises?

Cock & Pie, Upper Brook Street, Ipswich

Adrian Caldwell, manager, said: “Yes we have space for 50 people in the beer garden at the back. We invested in umbrellas and heaters, and a 42-inch plasma tv screen last year for the World Cup, and we have music out there. We are waiting for permission to run a bar outside too.

I think it will have a positive effect on trade because lots of town centre pubs won't have the smokers' space like we do, so we might pick up some of their trade.”

The New Wolsey, Civic Drive, Ipswich

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Sharon Jenkins, press officer said: “No, we've been no smoking since the refurbishment last September. Customers can go outside on the terrace to smoke, where there are ash tray/dustbins.”

The Fat Cat, Spring Road, Ipswich

Liz Pledge, manager said: “Yes, we have a fairly large beer garden with a wooden pergola. We'd like to encourage smokers.

We've got cover for the pergola to cater for rainy days, with a couple of panels on the side as windbreaks. Lots of our customers come because they love the real ale so I think they'll stay loyal. There maybe a slight slump to start with, or come the winter but all the statistics say trade picks up after the first year.”

The King's Head, Burnt Oak, East Bergholt

Landlord Philip Woodhead said: “Yes, they can smoke outside in the beer garden. We have put up non-smoking signs. I hope it won't affect the business.”

The Regent, St Helen's Street, Ipswich

Hazel Clover, manager said: “No, we've been non smoking for two years now so the ban will have very minimal implications for us. People usually leave the premises to have a smoke, perhaps during the interval and the new law covers the canopy too so customers will be asked to move on to the pavement.

Like everyone else we are having to put up legislative signage, as directed by the government. We will continue to be vigilant.”

Fire & Ice, Tacket Street, Ipswich

Owner Trevor Hollingsworth said: “Yes, we have an outside area which has always been there but we will be utilising it more from next week. The area was already equipped but now we've got lots of sandbuckets. The ban won't affect trade.”

Boss Hoggs Transport Café, Copdock

The manager said: “No, there won't be anywhere to smoke on the premises. It won't have any effect on trade.”

Clifftops Tea Rooms, Cobbold Road, Felixstowe

A spokeswoman said: “No, smokers have never been able to smoke inside, but there is a veranda terrace outside where they could smoke if they wanted to. There's no rules against them smoking there and I don't see why they still can't. We already have the normal non-smoking sign from the government inside but we won't have any outside.”

Gainsborough Labour and Social Club, Landseer Road, Ipswich

Manager Malcolm Thompson said: “Yes, there are places made for them to smoke. It's all in order.

“We've got all the signs, all the labels ready for 6am on Sunday. I think people will go outside to smoke in good weather and that will be fine but in the winter time, well, that will be the telling time.”

Ferry Café, Felixstowe Ferry

Owner Mrs Edwards said: “Yes, they can't smoke inside but they can outside at the picnic tables. We have a special smoking box and the non-smoking signs inside on the windows. People haven't been able to smoke inside since January, so it won't have any effect on business.”

The Plough, Dog's Head Street, Ipswich

Paul Bird, manager said: “Yes we have an outside area which is nice to take your drink outside to, and eat in. There are umbrellas with heaters inside, which cover 90per cent of the area so we're covered if it does rain, plus lighting and music speakers.

“I think it might hit other pubs which don't have outside space, because people will then have to go on to the street to smoke which means leaving your drink inside, or leaving it with someone else. You do have to think about the horrible scenario that drinks could get spiked - as landlords we've had all sorts to consider, to keep customers safe. I think some pubs will see an effect on weekend trade as more smokers tend go out at the weekend than during the week.”

Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe seafront.

Marketing manager Katy Pointer said: “No, the theatre complex is already a no smoking venue. The new law will not make any difference to operations.”

Avenue Taxis, Neale St, Ipswich

Spokesman Richard Farrow said: “No, customers can't smoke here. They can't smoke in the office. You were allowed to smoke in the vehicles but now, the drivers aren't even allowed to smoke in the taxis when they aren't working. It's good. The smokers will have to smoke in the cold and the rain!

“People travel in aeroplanes without smoking so I'm sure they can last two or three hours in a taxi. The only effect will be on the drivers who smoke in the taxis.”

Bus Shelters, at Tower Ramparts, Cattlemarket, and throughout Ipswich

An Environmental Health spokeswoman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “If more than 50per cent of the shelter is enclosed, it will be included in the smoking ban.”

The bus companies have responsibility for putting signs up where necessary and keeping an eye on things, and where there is a persistent problem the council will take legal action to prosecute.

The Froize Inn, Chillesford, Orford

Co-owner and chef David Grimwood said: “No, it's been a non-smoking restaurant since I came here five years ago. It's a totally non-smoking restaurant, always has been.”

The Butt&Oyster, Pinmill, Chelmondiston

Chris Beardsmore, manager said: “We're waiting for planning permission to create a smokers' area.

“Smokers will be able to use the patio area overlooking the water, as a temporary measure. There will be a heated structure, maybe a tent, until we get planning permission as soon as possible. It's a complicated process because this is a listed building in a wildlife conservation area.”

Locomotive and Working Men's Social Club, Rectory Road, Ipswich

Spokesperson Andrew Hutchison said: “Yes we've got a small side bit we're turning into a smoker's area, not too small. We've spent some money on equipment. I hope the ban won't affect trade. Over half of our members smoke so we hope they'll get on with it.”

The Maharini, Norwich Road, Ipswich

The manager said: “Yes, outside - there is a small outside area. There will be signs up, not too small.

I'm not too sure yet how it will affect trade.”

Great White Horse Hotel, Tavern St, Ipswich

Manager Aileen Jamieson said: “Not yet, but yes we will be having a smoking area…not for a few months but eventually. Heaters are an option we are looking into and there'll be shelter and some tables and chairs for them.

“It's hard to say whether it will affect trade. I've been to Ireland where a non-smoking ban is already in place, and trade seems okay.”

The Inkerman, Norwich Road, Ipswich

Spokesman Paul Kent said: “Yes, you can smoke in the garden and the car park. We will be getting equipment; it's in hand, probably a motorised canopy for shelter, heater lamps to keep them warm, plastic ashtrays, etc.”

The Dove, St Helens St, Ipswich

Landlords Ady and Karen Beaumont said: “Yes. We've already introduced the ban throughout the building and in entraceways- we introduced it after our beer festival to get people used to it - but there will be a designated area for smokers under a canopy, away from the doorways. It won't affect trade.”

Ipswich Labour Club, Silent St, Ipswich

Manager Barry Fulcher said: “Yes, in the car park and garden. I think the ban will affect the social side of things. If smokers do turn up, they'll just have a game of darts or pool then leave.”

The Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Wherry Quay, Ipswich

General manager James Cowan said: “Yes, we have smoking bedrooms in the hotel, and a nice area outside. We've been non smoking inside since January 1 so we are already equipped.

“Our customers are used to the idea and it didn't affect trade, but I think the pubs may possibly feel it more.”

Jacey's Coffee House, St Stephen's Lane, Ipswich

The manager said: “No, we've been non-smoking all the way through. They can smoke outside on the pavement but they can't smoke inside. It won't affect our trade.”

Liquid Envy, Grafton Way, Ipswich

General manager Rio Kader said: “Yes at the moment we have a designated area for smokers outside the front of the club and we are in the middle of constructing a new terrace to open mid July. It will have a 100ft balcony on the side of the building, a seated area, soft music, heaters and a canopy.”

He declined to reveal the cost but said: “It's costing quite a lot of money.”olli

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Are you an ex smoker? See tomorrow's paper for the health and beauty benefits coming your way, in tomorrow's Evening Star.

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What do you think of your local pub's smoking arrangements? Write to Your Letters, the Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Beer sales at pubs, bars and clubs in England and Wales could drop by 200 million pints per year following the smoking ban, experts predict.

When it started in Scotland, beer took the biggest hit with sales down seven per cent - around 36 million pints - in the year to March 2007. Meanwhile wine sales increased three per cent compared to the previous year.

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), which represents licensees across the UK, predicts that around 5,000 pubs will close over the next three to four years. Chief executive John McNamara said: ``If you are landlocked and heavily drink led, not food led, you have got a real problem to try to keep some people in the unit.”

The British Beer and Pub Association, whose members account for 98pc of beer brewed in the UK and own more than half of Britain's pubs, said the smoking ban was likely to cause a dip in beer sales and an increase in food sales.

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Suffolk County Council is warning of the increase risk of home fires as smoking in public places becomes outlawed. Safety experts fear that many more residents will choose to smoke at home, at private parties, picnics and barbeques or even in their cars, so increasing the risk of smoking related fires. Research for insurance firm Direct Line suggests that one in ten smokers will light up more often in their home because of the ban and a survey of more than 500 smokers also showed that one in ten did not have a smoke alarm fitted in their house.

Babergh District Council is contacting hundreds of businesses reminding them of their wider duties once the legislation takes effect.

In particular, Babergh is keen to ensure that there is not any increase in the litter or noise as a result of workers or customers smoking outside premises. The council outlines what businesses can do to avoid such problems - and the penalties - in the first edition of newsletter Babergh EnviroCare.

Businesses have a responsibility to clean up cigarette butts both on their premises and in the street outside them. Pubs and clubs in particular are advised to check that they are not in breach of their licence conditions if they allow customers to take drinks outside and/or play music after certain times of the night. Babergh is offering a discount of between £17 and £20 on the cost of one dedicated cigarette bin for each business.

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