THERE has been much publicity surrounding the announcement from Salisbury District Hospital that smoking will not be permitted in the grounds - or anywhere onsite.

It was 30 years ago that another no smoking decision made the headlines in Salisbury as the New Inn pub, New Street, gave tobacco the shove – ‘A First for Wiltshire’ announced the media.

In fact it was one of the first pubs in the south of England to ban smoking from its bars and the management was overwhelmed by the support for its anti-ash policy.

It was on national No Smoking Day that the New Inn management decided to take the plunge by banning the evil weed from every nook and cranny of the medieval pub and the experiment worked.

“It went so well those first few days that we decided to keep it going,” explained the pub's partner Richard Spicer.

“A couple of people have had a quick moan, but there are a lot of non-smokers out there who sometimes don’t want to go out because of the smoky atmosphere.”

To make sure people got the message three signs were strategically placed which read: ‘We are pleased to announce that all areas in this establishment have now been created NO SMOKING.’

However, there was one crumb of comfort for guests still gasping for a drag – they were allowed to smoke in the pub garden during the summer months.

Landlord John Spicer thanked the locals for standing by the pub. “It still remains to be seen if the beer sales are holding up,” he said.

“But the publicity the inn received in the Salisbury press has led to new customers. Many of them have been coming up to the bar to say what a good idea the smoking ban is and that’s very encouraging.”