The Barbacoa is an established restaurant in Crosby that usually serves one guest real ale. It has taken the step of banning smoking from its beer garden, an action that the local paper claims is a first in the country, although how they'd know is anyone's guess. A separate smoking area has been created elsewhere for smokers. The ban was the result of customer feedback, not political correctness gone mad, busybody interfering or nanny statism. Apparently, customers didn't like the fact that they couldn't go out in the sunshine without encountering smoke. The move has earned them a Clean Air Award from the lung cancer charity, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
I suspect this ban may only be the first of many. It has been clear to me since before the smoking ban first came in that some people felt they now had the smokers on the run. I wrote about this kind of attitude in my post, the Lost World of Smoking: while I was definitely not writing about the smoking ban, I reported that when my employer had brought in smoking rooms, thus making the office smoke-free, some non-smokers wanted me as the union rep to take things further. I wasn't prepared to because the arrangements were in accordance with both the employer's and the union's policies, and my personal view that having clean air was well worth the small price of losing smokers for short smoking breaks didn't go down well. I feel that it was probably a similar attitude that drove the customers of the Barbacoa to press for a smoke-free beer garden.
I jokingly refer to the beer garden at my local as 'the smoking room', but I'm quite happy to sit out there and don't find myself "quickly enveloped by a Magnitogorsk-like fug of carcinogens", to use the words of a BBC writer (link below). I doubt there will more legislation in the near future to extend the smoking ban; I think it more likely we will have piecemeal erosion of people's entitlement to smoke, as has happened in the Barbacoa.
I've just typed 'smoke beer garden' in a search engine and came up with this item from the Daily Mail in 2012, and this from the BBC a year ago. Both support, perhaps unintentionally, the points I've made.
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