Down where I live in Dorset we have limited access to decent quality snooker clubs and facilities - recently four snooker or pool clubs have been made available for sale.
The reasons behind these sales may be due to a number of factors, however, one club in question Dorchester Snooker Club has been forced to close due to a downturn in business. This downturn, according to the owner, has been due in part to the smoking ban.
Dorchester Snooker Club occupies the top floor of a building near to Dorchester railway station. The club being on the top floor is what has initiated the problem. Smokers (and many pool and snooker players do smoke) have to go downstairs in order to smoke outside. In the summer months this is not such a factor but snooker is mainly a winter activity. With the weather we have been having and the fact that clubs charge by the hour for the table lights has meant smokers stay away.
Now I for one hate smoking and the ban actually pleases me insomuch that I no longer smell of stale smoke when I return from a night out. However, if it is killing what is part of our national heritage then surely a compromise has to be reached. Perhaps grants should be made available to support clubs in creating "smoking areas" either on a balcony or outside.
There is no surefire answer - all that I know is that the game I love is taking a downturn over the smoking ban.