How you voted in our anniversary poll about whether the smoking ban was right

July 1 marked 10 years since the ban on smoking in public places.
July 1 marked 10 years since the ban on smoking in public places.

Our online poll on the 10th anniversary of the smoking ban certainly lit up a passionate debate among readers.

More than three-quarters of voters, 77 per cent, thought the introduction on July 1, 2007, was a good idea with the remaining 23 per cent disagreeing.

Among the reasons supporting the restrictions was improved health for smokers and non-smokers alike while the adverse affect on businesses was touted high among explanations for

opposing the ban.

With the debate continuing on our Facebook pages, Clare Fairley wrote: "I'm a smoker and I agree with the ban.

"I do however think that landlords should have been able to choose whether to be a smoking or non smoking bar. Personally I enjoy the craic and camaraderie outside in the smoking

areas.

Bill Edward Meeks responded: "No I disagree, since the implementation of the smoking ban, many social business have closed down, notably the public house industry, premises are

being turned into Italian restaurants or closed down and bulldozed.

Cheryl Forster added: "I've stopped going to pubs because I can't smoke. It should be at the managements' discretion whether to have a smoking room. I agree with the ban in

restaurants though.

Lynn Williamson wrote "It's got nothing to do with the pubs and clubs, it's about being able to go for a meal or a drink without it being ruined by someone's filthy smoke, coming home and

your clothes and hair reeking and about not getting smoking related diseases when you chose not to smoke!

"If pubs and clubs have suffered that's just an unfortunate side effect of the ban."

Here's our original article with photos of smokers in pubs in Sunderland, East Durham, South Shields and Hartlepool back in 2007

But Neil Barry said: "I was a pub landlord when the ban came in and I have not heard of a single pub closing because of the smoking ban.

"To be fair never even met a smoker that hasn't been to a pub in the last 10 years either. Plenty of other reasons as to why pubs are closing."

Greg Hildreth added: "It's a shame that businesses seem to be affected by this although I don't think that's it's the only reason (people having less money, price of going out, change in

culture to staying in drinking more, cheap deals in supermarkets etc.) but I think it's otherwise for the best.

Smoker Kathleen Tumilty thought the ban had fringe benefits and wrote: "I'm a smoker and don't mind going outside for a smoke but some pubs have been affected by it and if I'm honest

you can have a better convo outside than inside due to the music."

Rob Jewitt said: "Best thing that ever happened. No more tab burns in your designer clothes from drunken smokers. No more stinking clothes the morning after. No more bad chests off

passive smoking. As a (former) indulger of nicotine I think it was the best decision they made.

Lynn Taylor continued: "I know so many people who refuse to go out now cause they can't smoke while having a drink.

"Seen so many places dying off cause of it too. Doesn't effect me personally but it should of been the owners' choice.

"I was chatting to someone I know who owns a pub and he says it's been so hard since this law came in to keep his place actually running.

Here's our original article with photos of smokers in pubs in Sunderland, East Durham, South Shields and Hartlepool back in 2007