It is generally thought among smokers, though not among anti-smokers, that the 2007 introduction of the indoor smoking ban in England and Wales, and the 2006 smoking ban in Scotland has encouraged more pubs to close than otherwise would have.
The ostensible reason for the introduction was for the health of pub workers, in order to protect them from second hand smoke, but the evidence - and subsequent claims by anti-smokers - belie this.
CR Consulting (2011) researched closures in the 3 countries around the time of the ban and found that there was a correlation between the month of the introduction of the ban in the respective countries with an increased decline in the number of pubs.
- the evidence for protecting workers from second-hand smoke was weak and ambigious
- evidence for improved health is controversial and even illusory
- smoking rates have not significantly deviated from long term trends since the ban
- pub closures as a direct consequence of the ban
- the creeping expansion of laws to ban outdoor smoking
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