Cheddar businessman protesting against smoking ban

A CHEDDAR businessman has been organising marches all over the country to protest against the smoking ban.

A CHEDDAR businessman has been organising marches all over the country to protest against the smoking ban.

Chris Elliot, aged 30, who runs Starstruck Karaoke with his partner Paul Toole, held a march through Bristol on Saturday with more than 250 people taking part.

The campaigner, who was one of the first people in the country to be fined for smoking indoors since the ban came into force, has said he would rather go to jail than give up smoking in his company vehicle.

He said: "We've held three marches now, in Wells, Glastonbury and Bristol, and we have another one planned in February.

"We want to get a modification on the law. We are not unreasonable, we don't expect it to be totally lifted, but we would like pub owners to be able to choose whether their venue is a smoking or non smoking pub. The other option is to have special smoking rooms for people."

Chris, who runs a weekly show at the Bath Arms in Cheddar, claims his business has greatly suffered as a result of the ban.

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He said: "Numbers in pubs are dwindling because people just aren't coming out anymore. Smokers have to go outside and we end up playing to an empty room."

Chris, from Wells, is looking for more support on the next march which will be taking place in London on February 14, to coincide with the date the Government decided to impose the smoking ban.

Anyone interested in going along to the protest can find out more at www.freedom 2choose.info or by calling Chris on 07885 437854.

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