English Pub Gets Around Smoking Ban

Turning bar into 'smoking research facility' makes it legal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2009 12:26 PM CDT
Bartender Stefanie Thimm, daughter of pub owner Sylvia Thimm, smokes at the Doors Music Pub the day Germany's highest court partially overturned a smoking ban for pubs on July 30, 2008 in Berlin.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – One British pub has found a way around the country’s smoking ban, one that could send the entire law up in smoke. Owner Kerry Fenton has turned her bar’s tap room into a “Smoking Research Center.” Would-be puffers need only fill out a questionnaire asking how much they smoke and if they enjoy a smoky atmosphere, and they can light up to their heart’s content.

“It’s certainly given business a shot in the arm, and it’s in the name of research—legal and above board,” says Fenton. The move has left London befuddled, with both the Home Office and the Health Department saying it's the other's job to enforce.