THOUSANDS of people in Kirklees have quit smoking since the start of the ban.
Between July 1 last year – when smoking was outlawed in public places – and March 31 this year 2,287 people have ditched cigarettes with the help of the NHS Stop Smoking service.
From July 1 to September 30 last year 917 quit – a rise of 60% on the number who gave up in the same period in 2006.
Deborah Collis, assistant director of public health at NHS Kirklees, said: “The response to the smoke free legislation locally has been tremendous.
“Stopping smoking remains the best thing someone can do to reduce their chances of ill health.
“This legislation has also benefited us all by reducing our exposure to second-hand smoke and creating a healthier environment for everyone.”
Kirklees Council said businesses had responded well to the legislation.
Rebel landlord Stuart Smith is the only person to have been prosecuted for breaching the ban.
He was convicted of allowing smoking in the College Arms on Queensgate in January.
Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court gave him a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £2,500 costs.
Clr David Hall, Kirklees Cabinet member for environment, said: “Only 17 fixed penalty notices and 18 written warnings were issued during the first year of the smoking law being introduced.
“Considering the number of businesses and residents within Kirklees this is a great reflection of the willingness to support and comply with the smoking laws.”
Anybody wanting to quit smoking can call the Kirklees Stop Smoking Service on 01484 344285.
HOWEVER, more than one in three pub landlords fears going bust because of falling trade since the ban.
The combined effect of the new law and the credit crunch is being blamed for squeezing the life out of boozers nationwide.
A survey of 300 landlords revealed 35% think they may be forced to close in the near future.
And 77% believe business has been hit by the ban.
Six out of 10 pubs have had to lay staff off because of falling trade.
More than 60% of pub operators say the impact has been worse than expected.
The survey was carried out by pub paper, the Morning Advertiser.
Editor Andrew Pring said: “We have seen record pub closures despite the great strides made to improve quality and service to help counter the effect of the ban because people can not afford to visit the pub as often.
“The smoking ban might be part of the reason that pubs have suffered, but it is now a fact of life.
“The Government can offer some relief by abandoning their own inflation-busting increases in duty. If they don’t they will cripple the pub trade.”