I’m back in Lancashire at the moment and today went down to my local shopping centre which has now decided to ban smoking.
It was, however, with great pleasure that I discovered that the only cafe in the centre is rebelling and refusing to go along with the ban. The window to the cafe has the sign “SMOKING INSIDE” on display and so I stopped by and had a cup of tea and a fag in solidarity:
Claire Bythell, who owns The Coffee Shop in the precinct, said she will lose at least half her trade when the change is enforced.
“It is ridiculous. Just when we are getting back on our feet after they unblocked the main doors, they go and bring something like this in. A lot of my customers have already told me they will be going elsewhere. I will fight it because I have no choice, and I will go to court if necessary,” she said.
……..Smoker Mrs Lily Holmes (90), of Regent Street, Nelson, visits The Coffee Shop with a group of friends almost every day, where she spends about £50 a week.
“There will be a lot of friendships destroyed over this. Where are we supposed to go? I just don’t know what I’m going to do. It is heartbreaking for Claire as well because she has worked really hard to get the place going again,” she said.
The ban, which will extend to the covered market downstairs, will be enforced by security officers, who will politely remind people not to smoke.
Stopping pensioners having a nice cuppa and a ciggie. Driving local cafes and pubs out of business. The anti-smokers are winning at the moment but I predict there will be hundreds of Claire Bythells if the government try to enforce a blanket ban.