A BOLTON publican is calling on the Government to think carefully before banning smoking in pubs.

Tony Longmire, chairman of Bolton Licensees' Alliance, said the town's publicans would oppose any plan to ban smokers from their premises.

Speaking on the eve of National No Smoking Day tomorrow Mr Longmire said he and other Bolton licensees thought landlords should be able to make the decision about smoking in their own pubs.

He said: "Some may want to set up no smoking areas, but that doesn't work in pubs which are basically one room.

"We believe each public house should be treated as an individual case."

Mr Longmire, a long-time smoker, said he was not opposed to No Smoking Day itself but believed any ban on smoking in pubs would seriously affect trade. Lots of my regulars are smokers and many publicans are too."

Forest, the organisation which promotes equal rights for smokers, claims National No Smoking Day should be renamed "No Smokism Day" following findings in an independent poll of non-smokers.

The Taylor Nelson survey for Forest reveals more than two-thirds of non-smokers believe smokers should not be the butt of prejudice in key consumer places and at work.

A sample of 1,331 non-smokers were asked if provision should be made for both smokers and non-smokers in the workplace, restaurants, pubs, planes and trains and 67 per cent said yes.

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