A quarter of Scots are likely to visit pubs and bars more often now that Scotland is smokefree – according to a Cancer Research UK survey* published today.

The poll – which included both smokers and non-smokers – found that 24 per cent are more likely to visit their local because of the smokefree legislation introduced in March this year.

In addition to the 24 per cent who said they would go to the pub more often, 45 per cent said they would go just as frequently.

The results indicate that the smoking ban will not lead to losses for the pub trade.

Jean King, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco control, said: “The results of this survey should reassure publicans still worried that the smoking ban will drive customers away. They mirror the positive experience of other countries that have already gone smokefree. Making pubs and bars smokefree gives workers the protection they deserve and creates a more appealing place to go to for your social drink with friends.”

Over a thousand people across Scotland took part in the survey. They were asked if they would be likely to visit pubs and bars more often, less often or about the same under the new smokefree legislation*.

Even when those who said they are likely to go out less often are taken into account, the net effect still indicates that Scotland’s pubs will be busier. Just ten per cent said they were likely to go to the pub less often.

Professor Alex Markham, chief executive at Cancer Research UK, said; “Scotland should be proud of having moved so fast to embrace smokefree legislation. While the rest of the UK plays catch up, Scotland has led the way in showing how to ensure a smokefree future. These encouraging results indicate that businesses will also benefit from this move towards a healthier Scotland.”


For media enquiries contact Paul Thorne in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 7061 8300, or the out of hours duty press officer on 07050 264059.


* Scottish Opinion Poll – ‘Scottish Opinion, a division of Progressive Partnership Ltd’ telephone interviews by CATI (Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing)), sample size (1,026 Scottish adults 18+), dates of fieldwork (19/4/06 – 25/4/06).

Question: Are you likely to visit pubs and bars more often, less often or about the same as before the (smokefree) Law was introduced?

  • More often 24%
  • About the same 45%
  • Less often 10%
  • Don’t visit pubs and bars 20%
  • Unsure 1%

For more information about different types of cancer, diagnosis and treatment for patients and their families, visit Cancer Research UK’s patient information website.