I haven't said it here before, but I agree with the calls to repeal the smoking ban. Both my parents are and have always been smokers, the wife is a smoker, most people I know are smokers.
I myself am a reformed man; I gave up the cigarettes about 2 years back, though if I am having a drink I now have a cigar or two. It is enjoyable. I work hard, I pay my taxes, I want to smoke when I have a drink. People have voted with their feet and are abandoning pubs. We are targeting our own heritage and local businesses with cruel draconian laws.
I have something of a proposal. Firstly repeal the ban; secondly, food areas should probably return to being non-smoking areas. Thirdly, should publicans and customers wish, have smoking and non-smoking areas; legislation not required here. Finally, allow publicans should they wish for it the ability to apply for, and pay for a non-smoking licence. Pubs can only apply if there is a pub that allows smoking within 1 mile of it.
Non-smoking licences renewable yearly, money to local council, etc...etc...etc.