The article reports that an American bar has gone self service by use of RFID cards (contactless payment cards) and flow control pumps. So tap the pump with your card and it will let you dispense so much beer. Now sadly this won’t work for real ale but what I can’t help but wondering is this.
If no one is in the pub working because it’s entirely self service, then it’s not someone’s place of employment so surely they’d be nothing to stop people smoking there. The barrels etc. could be in a separate building so that wouldn’t be a problem, if the pub wanted to use it’s own cards then they could sell them and top them up in a separate building as well.
So the only person who’d ever need to work in the pub would be who ever cleans the place up, which would be done when it was shut and no one was smoking there, so again surely not a problem?
Of course the legislation does cover “all public places” which could be a snag but if it were a private club? It wouldn’t fall under the auspices of people working there, it’d be interesting to argue that you’re “seeking or receiving goods or services from the person or persons working there” as no one works there.
It would sadly be prohibitively expensive to test just how farcical this law is. I suspect ASH would probably claim that the 60 a day cleaner was still at risk of second hand smoke.
Of course it’s worth noting that:
“The appropriate national authority may make regulations providing for specified descriptions of premises, or specified areas of them, not to be smoke-free despite section 2.”
So under current laws it would actually be trivial to allow smoking in all sorts of places without any need to change anything at all.