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Archive for January 5th, 2008

Blame it on the ban

I have written before about the former oh-so-radical London (even used to be Manchester, I believe) daily, which gobbles up every press release they get in their in box and put it on their business pages without being able to think of any critical questions.

They report the following in the story Pub beer flattened by smoking ban:

The number of pints served in Britain’s pubs and bars in the run-up to the busy festive period declined by almost 10% as chilly smokers, no longer allowed a cigarette inside a pub, cut short their drinking time or stayed at home.

In the first winter since the UK-wide ban on smoking in public places was imposed in July, pub beer consumption for November fell 9.7% against the same period in 2006, according to industry figures.

I agree that the fall in beer consumption is dramatic, and that there will be pub closures and trouble for a number of brewers. But if you want to play with statistics, you need figures for the overall drinks consumption to see if how much of this loss of trade is compensated by cider, wine or stronger stuff. Additionally, this is a trend that started long before the smoking ban took effect.

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