MIDDLETON brewer JW Lees has blamed another poor summer and the continuing impact of the smoking ban introduced in 2007 for a 34 per cent drop in profits in the year to March 31, 2009.
Once you get past the corporate appeasement policy of the UK pub industry, the crippling effects of the smoking ban are all too clear.
“Draught beer sales dropped by 10 per cent for the third year on a row in November,” [Managing director William Lees-Jones] said.
“However, one thing we’ve been able to do as a private business is to help our tenants much earlier when others were still burying their heads in the sand.”
Although he could be talking about many a pubco, Punch Taverns instantly spring to mind.
Yet still the beer industry spokespeople fail to address the issue of freedom of choice. The BBPA are still not interested, and as for CAMRA, well what can one say that hasn't been said before?
It's worth noting that in countries where bars are still, in the main, owned by people, and not huge organisations who trade more on property and rent income than beer sales, resistance to smoking bans is vehement.
The smoking ban kills ... pubs. It really is as simple as that.