Wetherspoons to ban smoking in all its pubs

The pub giant Wetherspoons is to ban smoking in all its outlets by May 2006 amid fears that drinkers are staying away from public houses because they are too smoky, it was announced today.

The pub giant Wetherspoons is to ban smoking in all its outlets by May 2006 amid fears that drinkers are staying away from public houses because they are too smoky, it was announced today.

The company, which owns 650 pubs, said that 60 of those will become completely smoke-free from May of this year. The firm said it wanted to ban smoking two years ahead of new legislation.

Chairman Tim Martin attacked the Government's proposals, claiming that some pubs will still allow smoking if they do not sell food.

JD Wetherspoon said it will ban smoking from this May at its pubs in London, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Glasgow, Bristol, Birmingham and Nottingham.

Mr Martin said: "An increasing percentage of the population are giving up smoking and a significant number of people are staying away from pubs and restaurants because they are too smoky.

"We have pioneered non-smoking areas but we now feel it is the right time to go one step further.

"The Government's approach to the issue of a smoking ban does not make sense since pubs can get around it by giving up food sales.

"We believe the Wetherspoon approach of a complete ban after a period of notice is the right one."

Campaign group Ash (Action on Smoking and Health) welcomed the announcement as a "significant development" and urged other pub chains and companies to follow suit.

Spokesman Ian Willmore said: "This is great news for Wetherspoons' staff as well as the general public. Wetherspoons are acting in advance of the rest of the industry."

The Government is planning to bring forward legislation banning smoking in all workplaces and most pubs but those which do not sell prepared food will not be covered.

Dame Helena Shovelton, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "We welcome the announcement today by the pub chain Wetherspoons that they will ban smoking in all of their venues by May next year.

"There are eight million people in the UK living with a lung condition, and for many of them, going into a smoky pub environment runs a real risk of triggering a lung attack, which can result in hospitalisation.

"We would urge all other pubs in the UK to follow Wetherspoons' lead and implement a total smoking ban as soon as possible."

The TUC welcomed the announcement and called on other companies to follow suit.

General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "One of Britain's biggest pub chains is acting to save its staff from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

"The bogus arguments that banning smoking is a threat to the pub, club and restaurant business must now fall flat on its face.

"But two many employers will continue to neglect their duty to keep their staff safe. It is the duty of the government to take the lead and make all workplaces smoke-free zones."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Voices
voices We're advocating a popular capitalism that works for all, not a crony corporatism for just the few
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower