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Cig ban hits pub's elderly regulars

PUBLISHED: 16:04 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:54 23 August 2010

Pip Nevell outside The New Inn

Pip Nevell outside The New Inn

ONE year after the smoking ban was introduced in pubs, a landlord revealed the biggest casualties are elderly people. Pip Nevell, 47, landlord at The New Inn in Milton Road, Gravesend, said the ban has meant most elderly smokers now prefer to stay at h

ONE year after the smoking ban was introduced in pubs, a landlord revealed the biggest casualties are elderly people.

Pip Nevell, 47, landlord at The New Inn in Milton Road, Gravesend, said the ban has meant most elderly smokers now prefer to stay at home and no longer use the pub as a place to socialise.

His is one of many venues in north Kent to be hit hardest by the ban because there are no facilities for smokers.

Mr Nevell said: "I feel sorry for a lot of elderly people who used to come, most would rather stay at home now than face the prospect of smoking in the street with everyone walking past and the traffic noise.

"If they start smoking out of habit it's embarrassing for them to be told to stop.

"It feels as if they are being shunned. It's terrible really when you think what that generation did for us during the Second World War.

"The ban has had a massive impact on our business in the last year.

"Monday to Friday is traditionally the bread and butter part of our income but a lot of that trade has plummeted.

"I think it will take at least another year for people to get used to the ban and for things to settle down."

Gravesham Borough Council says the introduction of the Smokefree legislation has gone a lot more smoothly than expected.

During the first year the council did not issue any fixed penalty notices.

There have been no prosecutions for failure to comply with the legislation and there are none pending.

A Smokefree Compliance Officer was appointed in June 2007, visiting up to 1,000 premises by the end of January to offer advice.

But during the summer more smokers tend to gather outside pubs, restaurants, shops and offices, increasing the amount of noise complaints.

There has been an increase in the amount of litter on the streets caused by cigarette butts and the council's street cleaning team is dealing with the situation.

Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, businesses can be issued with a fixed penalty notice if they don't provide sufficient bins or they allow cigarette butts to accumulate on the pavement outside their premises.

martin.sawden@archant.co.uk

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