Paxton pub proves smoking ban can be a success

ALTHOUGH the impending smoking ban in Scotland has received a mixed reaction from a number of landlords and customers, one pub has shown that it can work.

Julie Ivison who runs The Cross Inn in Paxton with her husband Mike said that the pub has gone from strength to strength since stubbing out smoking altogether 12 months ago. Although a lot of the Inn's business comes from the restaurant, Julie said that the ban has gained the full support of her drinking regulars too.

"We are busier now than we ever were before hand. We have recieved the total backing of our customers and they all comment how nice it is to enjoy a meal or drink in a nice smoke-free environment.

"Parents now bring children into the pub to have meals, whereas before they wouldn't because of the smoky atmosphere."

Julie admits that The Cross Inn didn't really have that many smoking customers previous to new rule but she said that even they have given her their full support when they realised they were becoming something of a minority.

"I can see why some places will have a problem with the smoking ban, but it's not really a big thing in Paxton so we were confident we wouldn't get a lot of opposition when we made the decision.

"Many people have congratulated us in bringing in the ban and are commenting on how good it is to arrive home after a night out and not be smelling of smoke.

"The ban wasn't a sudden thing for us, it was more of a gradual process. We got rid of cigarette machines and ashtrays to try and discourage smoking and then eventually imposed a full ban on February 1 last year."

It's only a matter of time until other landlords across Berwickshire will be facing the same situation as the nationwide ban on smoking in all enclosed public places comes into place on March 26.

And following the recent much publicised vote in Westminister, pubs and clubs south of the border are also set to become smoke-free from summer 2007.