Club to stub out smoking

PUBLISHED: 07:37 17 August 2006 | UPDATED: 21:15 29 May 2010

A bold move

A bold move

A WORKING men s club in Dunmow could become the first in the country to enforce a total ban on smoking – almost a year before it becomes law. The Dunmow Club on the High Street held a member s vote earlier this month, and chief bar manager Alan Hays is co

A WORKING men's club in Dunmow could become the first in the country to enforce a total ban on smoking - almost a year before it becomes law.

The Dunmow Club on the High Street held a member's vote earlier this month, and chief bar manager Alan Hays is confident that the ban will be ratified by the Working Men's Clubs and Institute Union (WMCIU) and be in place within five weeks.

He said: "I'm pretty certain that the ban will come into force by the end of September at the latest which will be very good news.

"I don't see any reason why the ban won't be ratified by the union in London as it was a private member's bill, voted on by 100 people, and the majority were in favour."

The total smoking ban was supported by 55 of the voters, with 45 voting against the motion.

Mr Hays said the ban will improve the club's atmosphere and may make some people kick the habit.

"The vote was done democratically, but obviously some of the smokers don't agree with the ban," he said.

"It always gets very smoky inside the club and I am constantly being asked to open the windows, so the ban will remove that particular problem and may even make some members quit smoking altogether."

Smoking will be banned in public places including pubs, clubs and restaurants from next summer after MPs backed the Government's legislation by a majority of more than 200 in February.

The general secretary of the WMCIU, Kevin Smythe, said he respected the club's decision to get the ban introduced early.

"I really admire the Dunmow Club for taking a vote on the issue and getting members prepared and used to the non-smoking conditions well in advance of the change in the law," he said.

"It is an excellent idea as it will mean members won't have a sudden shock when the legislation comes into force next summer.

"I know of two other clubs in England that are trialling non-smoking in individual rooms, but Dunmow is the only one looking to enforce the total ban early."

Club secretary Barrie Yegliss is against the early ban and believes

it is unfair on members.

He said members are prepared for the ban when the Government brings it in, but enforcing it months in advance would take away a pleasure enjoyed by many before it was really necessary.

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