Drinkers and bar staff vote on smoking
CUSTOMERS and staff at bars across Glasgow are to take part in a massive smoking survey.
A ballot of staff and customers is to be conducted in response to the Scottish Executive's consultation on smoking in public places.
However, early indications are that a total ban, already imposed in Ireland, will be rejected.
In a west end bar, only 13% supported a total smoking ban in the first pub ballot by the Doublet in Park Road, Woodlands.
Today Doublet owner Alistair Don said he believed this result would be replicated across the city.
Colin Wilkinson of the Scottish Licence Trade Association said he believed most Glaswegians would reject moves towards smoke-free bars.
Mr Don, also president of the SLTA, said today: "Our poll showed total of 67% of those who took part wanted the status quo ... only a very small minority were in favour of a complete ban.
"Everybody has an opinion on smoking but for our members it is the opinions of the customers and staff that make the real difference.
"Making a wrong decision and you could alienate your regulars but failure to deliver on customer demands could put off potential new trade.
"The ballots provide a way for licensees to find out how they could improve their smoking policy without the risk."
The Doublet banned smoking in the bar area from last week and has invested Â£3000 in a ventilation system after a survey on harmful emissions.
Colin Wilkinson of the SLTA today said: "We need to make sure we cater for all.
"If staff and customers want more smoking restrictions, or a total ban in their local, then we want to know and I would urge customers and staff to ensure their pub gets involved in the ballot."
The survey of SLTA members found over 52% backed a non-smoking area where hot food is served, while 38% supported a smoke-free zone in every pub.
The results of the Glasgow pubs ballot will be made available to the Scottish Executive in time for their ongoing consultation exercise that ends in September.