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News - 15 November 2004

Letter to the editor: Scotland confronts smoking head on

You may be interested to know that research from accountancy firm KPMG suggests that pubs, clubs and restaurants could actually benefit from a smoking ban.

KPMG believes that licensed businesses could benefit from a new wave of customers who come more often and stay longer. Presumably these are the people who have until now given a wide berth to venues that allow smoking. The view is that people who have been staying home will come out to eat more often and will stay longer in a smoke free environment.

This thinking is backed up by a Mori poll conducted at the behest of Ken Livingston in London. Two-thirds of Londoners are in favour of a ban on smoking at work. This represents a sizable majority of the population. These same people are currently being alienated from many eating and drinking venues in England.

Perhaps you might like to throw this into your melting pot when summing up the damage a smoking ban might inflict on Brighton businesses.

Yours faithfully

Di Young

Response from Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership

Thank you for your letter Di. The BHEP is working with Step Ahead Research to assess the impact of a smoking ban on businesses in Brighton & Hove but until that is complete we can't come to any conclusions about whether a ban will be damaging or beneficial. We are consulting with a wide range of businesses that may be affected and we will post the results on the web site in due course.

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