November 23, 2006

The smoking ban is going to put thousands out of business

Cardiff Central MarketThe smoking ban comes into effect on April 2nd in Wales, and small businesses are saying they’re not ready for it.

While larger hotels and restaurants are backing the ban, and expect to do quite well from it, places which have traditionally attracted smokers could lose a substantial number of their customers.

In Cardiff’s Central Market, the Bull Terrier cafe is one such business. Around four in every five customers go there specifically to smoke, but from April, they will have to go elsewhere.

I spoke to the cafe’s manager Sam Maher and asked her about the future of her business once the smoking ban comes in:

The Welsh Assembly aren’t willing to offer financial assistance. In Sam’s words “they don’t care, they’re not bothered at all”. So while many food outlets will see their custom increase thanks to the smoking ban, places such as this which have for decades attracted people because of smoking, look to have a fairly bleak future.

- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Max Hammond

    Oh well. It’s a price worth paying.

    Perhaps some of those smokers will give up, or the next generation will never start, and it’ll be possible to go out and not end up smelling of industrial waste? And perhaps the NHS can spend its resources on something more worthwhile than prolonging the lives of people who have squandered them through smoking.

    Alternatively, of course, these outlets could change their business to attract customers in the new regime? Or should the government support all outdated business models?

    23 Nov 2006, 16:14

  2. Alternatively, of course, these outlets could change their business to attract customers in the new regime?

    Time to start deep-frying everything. The reign of the smoker has come to an end, now the Age of Fatocalypse has begun! Long live (or maybe not… damn you transfats!) the fatties!

    23 Nov 2006, 17:54

  3. It’s not that they have an outdated business model. It’s just their model is based on attracting a demographic who are about to be outlawed from doing what they enjoy. And diversification wouldn’t really get them very far, unlike larger outlets.

    I can understand a smoking ban in pubs and restaurants, but enforcing it in these smallholdings seems cruel.

    23 Nov 2006, 19:09

  4. Charles Brown

    Isn’t this the same argument that farmers in Afghanistan use about growing poppies?

    As we’re right up there in the league tables maybe they should move over to dealing coke – it’s a large market and they won’t lose any dosh.

    24 Nov 2006, 13:41

  5. Chris Doidge

    Yes, but it’s a bit different growing opium from serving tea and sandwiches…

    24 Nov 2006, 14:51

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