A LANDLORD has called for the government to uphold his punters’ ‘human rights’ amid fears electronic cigarettes could be banned in Uttoxeter’s pubs.
Ministers in Wales are currently debated whether to ban the devices from enclosed public spaces, with many political commentators claiming the move could be extended to the rest of the UK.
Supporters of the proposed ban have said they believe e-cigs ‘normalise’ smoking undermine the exisiting ban on traditional cigarettes.
But Andrew Riley, landlord of Ye Olde Talbot, said he fears any ban would represent ‘another nail in the coffin’ for the pub trade.
He said: “The smoking ban, which has had a devastating affect on pubs, has already taken away the human rights of my locals.
“I’m not a smoker but, if I had the option, I’d definitely allow people to smoke in the Talbot.
“Most people use e-cigarettes to cut down or quit altogether and we should be encouraging that.
“My partner used them and he managed to quit smoking when he was buying 60 cigarettes every day.
“They only give off vapour and it’s not nicotine that kills - it’s tar and other chemicals in cigarettes.
“More and more people are smoking e-cigs in the Talbot.
“When people have a pint, they like to socialise and, when they socialise, they like to have a smoke.”
The Advertiser reported earlier this year how many Uttoxeter work places were only allowing workers to smoke e-cigs in designated smoking areas.
And Mr Riley fears politicians’ ‘own personal ambitions’ could override ‘common sense’.
He said: “Politicians are looking to further their own agendas as it’s very fashionable to have a go at smokers at the minute.
“But it should be about health and supporting the pub trade, not outlawing a valuable tool to help people quit.
“We’re losing 28 pubs every day in the UK and I just wonder how many more we can lose.”
Entrepreneurs Ryan and Gemma Gallacher recently launched their e-cigarette business Got No Tar, in Bridge Street, Uttoxeter.
Mrs Gallacher said: “We had both been smoking for around 15 years and were amazed at how easy it was to quit using an electronic cigarette.”