To Smoke or Not to Smoke – Is that the question?
Robin Robinson takes a look at the impact today’s ban will have on Chiswick
For the first time in 400 years, Sunday 1st July 2007 sees the dawning of a UK wide smoke free zone.
The impending change in regulations has long been anticipated by Chiswick’s local businesses, with many of W4’s pubs adapting to and dealing with the effects of the smoking ban.
Hounslow Council has been anticipating problem areas and as required by central government, is building awareness direct to the source of the problem; tackling the issue of ‘people being the litter bugs’.
There are 10 specifically designed cigarette bins placed along Chiswick High Road being monitored on a trial basis, with a view to getting more if it proves successful.
Chiswick based brewers Fuller's have spent £4 Million across their estate of 363 pubs including improving food trade, building awareness of the changes and developing outside areas to accommodate for smoking customers that comply with the new regulations.
Using ‘jumbrellas’, canapes, and pagodas over purpose built structures, outdoor areas are now ‘smoke friendly’ and able to withstand event the heaviest of downpours. A spokesperson for Fuller's said; “We have been focusing on improving our food for a number of years now and so are in a good position to deal with the effects of the smoking ban. Fuller's pubs aim to be the best pub in the area and ensure that standards are executed to the highest of expectations. The launch of our ‘Smoke Signals’ newsletter to customers, ensures that they are aware of the law and the steps that we have taken in providing a comfortable space for smokers and non-smokers alike.”
Chiswick High Road’s George IV pub took stock of the impending situation over year ago and invested in front and rear awnings, also increasing their food & entertainment offering. The outdoor area is covered with a 6m by 6m awning and lighting, and punters are surrounded by a green and luscious ‘little Oasis’, where smokers and non smokers can co-exist together amongst ‘Flora and Forna’.
Jason Perfect, General Manager of George IV said, “In 2006 we spoke to our customers on every level before making any changes and asked what they wanted to see out of a smoking area. As a result we created a positive ‘protected’ environment which encouraged smokers and non-smokers to gravitate outside and enjoy the area even long before the ban.”
He went on to say; “Since the changes we have experienced an increase in food trade year on year and a positive overall effect on trade. It is as a result of developing the front and rear awnings to cater for our customers requirements that we are able to look forward to the smoking ban.”
With pubs in W4 adapting to the demands and loyalty of their trade, smokers and non-smokers are increasingly able to exist in a positive environment and still have the freedom of choice to do what they want.
July 2, 2007