As a general policy UKIP is opposed to prohibitions and bans. UKIP does however recognise that the smoking ban has been popular amongst certain groups, such as families and those wishing to eat out in pubs. What is badly needed is a more common sense solution than an outright ban to address the problem that 39 pubs a week are closing. Many of which can be blamed on a fall in takings of 8 to 10% due to the ban and the fall in AWP ( Amusement with Prizes ) Machines takings by 20%.
UKIP would amend the smoking ban to allow pub landlords to provide contained and ventilated 'smoking rooms' within pubs and clubs, where customers desire it. This would also reduce noise and intrusion to the pubs neighbors from outside smoking areas. Where it was not possible, desirable or affordable to construct contained smoking rooms, UKIP would give pub landlords and club managers the right to declare their pub or club 'all smoking' or 'all non-smoking' as long as there were clear warnings and notices outside the building highlighting this status.
UKIP also supports the continued use of patio heaters for outside and smoking area use. We firmly oppose moves by the European Parliament to ban them on environmental grounds, despite the fact that their impact is negligible compared with other emissions. Patio heaters are valuable in retaining business under the current rules from customers who smoke, rather than forcing them to stand out in the cold and rain, or to buy cheap supermarket beers and stay at home.