Smoking getting stubbed out

There were always going to be winners and losers in the wake of the smoking ban. For every non-smoker who can now enjoy the morning after the night before free from the attendant stench of stale smoke, there’s an ardent fan of civil liberties forced to puff away on the pub steps in the August drizzle.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
The business world is split too. We’d already heard how Middle Eastern-style shisha cafes are suffering, and that pubs were worried about the knock-on effect of the smoking ban on booze sales. Now comes the inevitable news that the cigarette companies are having a hard time of it, with sales in England down nearly 7% since the smoking ban was introduced. Still, it’s not all bad. Borders, the bookshop chain, reported a surge of 260% in sales of books helping people quit.

It would of course be hard to imagine any other outcome. If the use of a particular product is restricted, it does tend to have an effect on how much people will tend to buy it. Look at gun sales in the UK relative to the US. But the cigarette companies seem confident that sales will begin to climb again soon enough. In direct relation, we’re sure, to the number of unthumbed copies of ‘Teach Yourself To Quit Smoking’ heading for the recycling.

Cigarette bosses are perhaps basing this optimism on developments in the smoke-friendly bingo world. Some bingo halls are offering shelters in the car park, complete with wireless applications, to enable their committed punters to puff away while still playing the game.

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