Ban has positive effect on trading

PUBLISHED: 13:18 02 August 2007 | UPDATED: 21:46 29 May 2010

PUBLICANS and drinkers in Dunmow have given the thumbs up to the smoking ban that came into force this time last month. Throughout the town s public houses, food sales are up, beer sales are steady and people are enjoying no longer smelling of stale tobac

PUBLICANS and drinkers in Dunmow have given the thumbs up to the smoking ban that came into force this time last month.

Throughout the town's public houses, food sales are up, beer sales are steady and people are enjoying no longer smelling of stale tobacco since the ban on smoking came into force on July 1.

Caroline Sewell, landlady of the Boar's Head on Dunmow High Street was pleased with the way people had reacted to the ban.

Her pub displays possibly the most evidence in the town of adapting to the ban with a fence being built at the front to enclose seating and tables and a smoking shelter at the back.

"We haven't noticed much difference in the drinking side of things but we are serving much more food at lunchtimes.

"People are coming in to eat who we haven't seen before," she said. "Many have said how lovely it is without the smoke, but I do feel sorry for the smokers having to go outside but most people seem to be happier."

Sam Millar, bar manager at The Saracen's Head on the High Street, reported similar trends saying: "It hasn't really affected us a great deal as most of our customers are non-smokers but I have noticed several new faces coming in to eat.

"We have a smoking area at the back and there are plans to build a proper smoking shelter before the winter kicks in."

One change Mr Millar had noticed was the ceiling lights need less cleaning as they are no longer being covered with nicotine.

Sitting outside in the smoking area enjoying a cigarette and a pint were builders Tom

Peterson and George Smith, both from Dunmow.

"It's actually quite sociable coming out for a smoke," says Mr Peterson. "You get to speak to lots of people you normally wouldn't chat to.

"I think non-smokers are missing out on that aspect of things."

Steph Etienne, assistant manager at The Starr Restaurant in Market Place, said: "Our restaurant was non-smoking already and customers had to go into the bar if they wanted a cigarette.

"Now they just have to go outside. There's been no noticeable change to our trade."

It is while working in the bar that Miss Etienne has noticed the biggest change, explaining: "The bar is quite small and got smoky quite quickly.

"Now, it's lovely to work in there and not smell of smoke at the end of the day."

Lisa Lipscombe, health promotion officer at Uttlesford District Council, said she was pleased to say that they hadn't had to issue any fines at the moment.

"We've had officers going out in the area informing people about the new law and making sure those with questions or who are unsure about anything get correct advice," she said.

If anyone has any questions about the smoking ban and how it affects them, they can contact Mrs Lipscombe on 01799 510370.

- WHAT do you think? Have you been going out more for meals since the ban on smoking in public places?

E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk

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