On Tuesday a new campaign is being launched to 'Save our Pubs and Clubs'. It has the inelegant but informative web address AmendTheSmokingBan.com (launches 22nd June) which sort-of tells you what it's about. The fact is that pubs and clubs have seen a disastrous fall in their trade since the smoking ban came in - and the recession has simply compounded the problem. Pubs are closing – several a week. Which is bad for business, bad for localities, and bad for those drinking habits that the government says it wants to improve – at least in pubs, people are drinking under some kind of supervision, while if they just load up at the supermarket and drink in the street, they're not.
The campaign says that if pubs want to have a designated smoking room, with proper air filtration and the like, why shouldn't they be allowed to? People who didn't like a smoky atmosphere wouldn't have to have one, but those people who wanted a beer and a cigarette could have it.
Anyway, the campaign is being launched in Westminster on Tuesday at 11am. As a non-smoker, I won't be lighting up, but I shall be there supporting the rights of those who want to.