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Studies of smoke-free policies in the hospitality trade using objective evidence have generally found no or a positive economic impact 1. Most studies are from North America and Australia. Published European studies are limited to a small study with a four month follow up period in which no adverse economic effects were demonstrated (six pubs) and popularity with customers was high (10 pubs).2 However, UK proprietors from restaurants, pubs, and other hospitality trade businesses overwhelmingly predict negative economic effects.3–5
In a recent UK national survey, 88% of respondents agreed that smoking should be restricted in restaurants and 53% in pubs.6 Despite the existence of a Public Places Charter7 promoting smoke-free policies, progress in the UK has been slow. In a Scottish survey in 2000 over half of hotels, restaurants, and cafes, and 85% of pubs allowed smoking …