PUBS, clubs and restaurants in Mid Cheshire are gearing up for the introduction of the smoking ban.
From July 1 all enclosed public spaces in the country will have to be smoke-free by law.
Concerns have been raised over how hard the ban will hit the leisure and hospitality industry.
But many places around the area are eagerly awaiting the ban, despite uncertainty over how the law will affect business and how it will be enforced.
Liean Piercy, deputy manager of the Anderton pub, Witton Street, Northwich, said: ‘We are really looking forward to working in a smoke-free environment. We have got a new outside area now with heaters and lights.
‘I’m sure people will still come out because every where is going to be in exactly the same position.’
Victoria Walters, assistant manager at Winnington Lodge, said: ‘We are taking steps to bring it in slowly. I don’t think it will affect business much because everywhere is in the same boat.
‘It is just one of those things but I'm not sure how it is going to be controlled.’
Emily Norbury, bar assistant at Winnington Lodge, said: ‘It is good because it is going to make you quit smoking.’
Some places across Mid Cheshire have adopted a no-smoking policy before the ban is introduced.
Daniel Heap, assistant manager at Hartford Hall, said: ‘It has not affected business at all; in fact it has increased it I think. A lot of people are happy with it.’
The Brighton Belle pub in Middlewich Road, Winsford, is now non-smoking throughout and has developed beer garden facilities for smokers.
Bar assistant William Spellman said: ‘We won’t feel the effects like any other place. The majority of people are quite happy with it being non-smoking. We have the heaters outside so it keeps it warm and the canopy is there if it rains.’
The Government had originally planned to exclude private clubs from the smoking ban, but this idea was scrapped despite a survey earlier this year finding that bosses of one in five workingmen’s clubs thinks they will be forced to close once the ban takes effect.
At the Royal British Legion Club, Lewin Street, Middlewich, James Quinn, 67, said the ban could be a real problem in the winter.
He said: ‘We are being dictated to by a government which has got no mandate to tell people where they should smoke and where they shouldn’t smoke. I don’t agree with it but what can you do?’
Brian Smith, 59, said: ‘The pub trade as it stands is suffering anyway because of various issues and I think this will just make it worse.
‘As a principal, it is wrong. If you don’t like the smoke then you don’t go into the place. It is like building a house next to a golf course and then complaining when a ball goes through the window.’
Eric Vernon, 76, said: ‘It is a bad choice. The next thing is the Government will put beer prices up to cancel out what it is losing on cigarettes and to me that is false economy. It is a vicious circle.’