Hotels will bounce back

PUBS have bounced back from smoking bans before and they can do it again, says Rising Sun Hotel owner Pat Sheehan. 

Publicans not worried by ban

Smoking inside of pubs was banned in Victoria in July 2007, adding to legislation which outlawed smoking inside restaurants, cafes and dining areas of hotels, licensed clubs and shopping centres. 

A trial in the City of Melbourne, which has banned smoking in outside dining areas, has ignited debate about a ban in Bendigo. 

But Mr Sheehan isn't worried about a potential downturn in business a smoking ban could bring. 

"We have been through this before (in 2007)," he said. 

"And there was some backlash but it's like that with all new laws.

"It takes a bit of time for people to adjust and then it's back to business as usual."

However, Mr Sheehan is concerned about where the line will be drawn between outdoor dining and outdoor drinking areas. 

"If the ban applies to designated dining areas, then I'm all for a smoking ban," he said. 

"But I just think it is a fine line."

Mr Sheehan, whose hotel already has sectioned off outside smoking areas which are separate to outside dining areas, said smokers were already mindful of non-smokers.

"People just don't spark up when they are sitting next to a table of people who are eating. 

"I just don't see that here."

Queens Arms Hotel owner Cal Francis said patrons would "evolve" and adapt to the new laws. 

"We did have some people who were annoyed when the inside smoking bans were introduced," he said. 

"But after a while people just change their behaviour and get use to the legalisation."

merran.reed@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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