UK Loophole Turns Pub Vault Into Smoking Room At least For Now

No smoking in the pub is the law of the land but cleaver Kerry Fenton found a loophole for her establishment. Fenton’s pub is now a “Smoking Research Centre” letting patrons smoke while they down an ale.

Friend James Martin found the loophole in Section 9 of the 2007 Smoking Act. That loophole states that smoking ‘research’ can be undergone as long as there is no through bar.

Kerry’s bar The Cutting Edge has a vault that could apply with the exemption. Now the vault is a bar onto itself with a sign on the door labeled “Designated Smoking Room.” Patrons fill in a questionnaire about their smoking habits before they are allowed to light up.

The vault may have saved Fenton’s bar for a time.

BBC reports:

Fenton told BBC News: “This is something we really had to do, I didn’t have a choice.

“We have had estate agents bringing people to actually view the property because it’s up for sale.”

The owner of the pub, Punch Taverns is not happy though and neither are the Barnsley Council. Both are planning to putting the smoking room out of business.

The Barnsley Council’s Regulatory Services department planned a visit to the pub on Wednesday to let the establishment know that they may be wrong in their interpretation of the law.

The building has been put on the market by Punch Taverns who condemns the decision their licensee made.

The Daily Star reports:
The Home Office said: “It’s the Department of Health’s responsibility.”

But the Department of Health insisted: “It’s up to the Home Office to enforce the law.”


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