E-cigs could save the pub trade

John Clarke with an e-cig

John Clarke with an e-cig

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Following the recent £60,000 renovation of the Empire Coffee House in St James’s Street which sees the business become perhaps Burnley’s first e-cigarette friendly social establishment, this concept should be looked at with the hope more of the same will follow.

Since the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007, pubs around the country have been closing down and converted into flats and convenience stores. Pub closures hit a height of 52 a week in 2009 and remain stubbornly high at 31 a week this year.

Sadly, while e-cigarettes are not legally covered by the smoking ban, many public buildings have extended the ban even though research by University College London has shown as many as 54,000 lives in the UK could be saved if smokers switched to the electronic, water vapour variety.

With ambitious plans to expand across the region, I wish landlord Ryan Lord all the best in his attempt at breathing life back into the struggling pub industry.

Paul Nuttall

UKIP North-West MEP