Pubs stub out as smoking ban introduced

SMOKERS across Suffolk were today adapting to the new rules governing where they can and can't enjoy their habit.

SMOKERS across Suffolk were today adapting to the new rules governing where they can and can't enjoy their habit.

Those who light up in any enclosed public place, including pubs, restaurants and theatres, will be breaking the law and, if caught, could face a £50 rap on the knuckles.

The legislation came into force at 6am yesterday, providing the county's clubbers with one last chance to smoke in public in the early hours.

Veronica Chambers, manager of the McGinty's Irish bar in Ipswich's Northgate Street, said the transition to a smoke-free pub environment had been smooth.

“Most of the Irish people who come here to watch the Gaelic games would usually have a smoke but they are used to the ban because it's already in force in Ireland,” she said.

“It's not been a problem, so far, and it's better for the staff who don't have to breathe in the smoke.

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“I have a nice smoking area out back, some of which is covered so when the rain comes down the customers are sorted.

“We are prepared and we will follow the rules. We'll tell people they'll have to stub out their cigarettes.

“I think the ban will have an impact on pubs in the long term, but whether that will be positive or negative I don't know.”

Meanwhile, Stowmarket's Riverside Club, in Gipping Way, has invested £10,000 by creating an area for smokers.

The cash has been used to buy a canopy covering the outside terrace, meaning smokers will remain protected from the elements despite having to leave the building.

Club manager Giles Mainwaring said: “We were keen to adhere to the new laws while at the same time making sure that smokers had somewhere dry to have a cigarette.

“With satellite television, a function room for weddings and eight fill size snooker tables, we are one of the busiest places in the town, so this is a vital investment.”

New smoking laws - a breath of fresh air or an infringement of your rights? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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