I AM a professional musician of some 30 years, playing in bars and clubs, and have been dismayed by the effect of the smoking ban. Whereas we were promised that the grateful customers would flock to premises providing a smoke-free environment, the reality has been that I have been playing in mostly empty bars, while the few customers left have been shivering outside in the rain and cold.

I have never seen such a collapse in trade, which happened immediately after the ban and has not improved since. This ill thought out law has destroyed social life in this country at a stoke, as people decide to stay at home, guzzling cheap supermarket alcohol and no doubt smoking in front of their children. I have no problem with restrictions on smoking in shops and other public places, but a total ban in pubs, forcing people to sit outside in the wet and freezing cold, while being denied adequate shelter is surely unreasonable.

Most people I know are upset and angry about this ban, and if it is not reversed it will lead to the demise of many premises which have previously been the hub of the community.

Peter F Cooke Fitzhardinge Way Berkeley.