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What To Do As A Smoker At A Bar In 2022

It wasn’t all that long ago when bars still had smoking sections, or when there were even some bars in certain places where smoking was fully welcomed. However, since 2007 it has been illegal to smoke in any indoor establishment across the UK. More recently, since 2020, The Yorkshire Evening Post’s report on smoking bans shared that even smoking outdoors is being limited. This means that all venues, including bars, must now drastically reduce any and all customer smoking areas. Now, while this is all part of a bid to make Britain smoke-free in less than a decade, this can make for a tricky lifestyle adjustment for smokers. Fortunately, there are some options that bar-going smokers can still take:

Smoking outside

First and foremost, it is still an option to smoke outside of bars in some cases. While parts of the UK cracked down on this in support of outdoor dining during the pandemic, there aren’t widespread, permanent bans on smoking outside of bars. The Guardian’s coverage of English councils points out that there was a push in 2020 to amend legislation in the House of Lords to make pavements smoke-free across the entire nation, but it was seen by some as a means of banning smoking altogether, and it ultimately failed. As of 2021, only Newcastle City, Manchester City, Durham County, Northumberland County, and Tyneside Councils have completely banned all smoking on pavements. The bottom line is that in the UK, it is still possible in many cases to step outside a bar, have a cigarette, and then return inside.

Alternative tobacco products

Since finding a place to smoke is getting harder, one option is to try alternative tobacco products. These are essentially products –– like chewing tobacco –– that are designed to give smokers their “fix,” and satisfy cravings, without any of the smoke that is the underlying reason for most public bans. In most cases, so long as you aren’t actively smoking such that people around you are affected, you can use tobacco products in public (though there are some instances in which products like chewing tobacco are not allowed, or are at least frowned upon).

Nicotine gum & pouches

Other, even more acceptable alternatives to smoking include gum and pouches. Nicotine gum is a tried-and-true option for getting a nicotine fix without having to smoke. Some also like it because many of the products are flavourless, which means they don’t interfere with one’s enjoyment of cocktails or beer at the bar.
Meanwhile, nicotine pouches are newer alternatives that accomplish much the same purpose, but do so in an almost wholly inconspicuous manner. For those who aren’t familiar with them yet, nicotine pouches are tobacco-free options infused with nicotine (and sometimes flavour) that can give users a fix without the need to chew or spit. People who choose to use these products can simply insert them (under the upper lip usually) and reduce nicotine cravings without anyone knowing they’re using a product. For example, the very popular ZYN nicotine pouches offer plenty of variety so users can choose their preferred option. Those who want flavour have plenty of options (various mints, coffee, cinnamon, and more), and those who don’t want to interfere with the taste of their drink can opt for flavourless pouches. Nicotine pouches also help kerb cravings, so they can help keep the evening enjoyable even without the usual smoking breaks.

CBD oil

For those who want a fix, but of a different kind, CBD oil can serve as another smoking alternative. Some have found that even without the direct hit of nicotine provided by gum and pouches –– or the tobacco in alternative tobacco products –– CBD can have a calming effect, and lead to a different kind of relief. Indeed, BBC Good Food lists anxiety as one of the main conditions people find CBD oil to be helpful with in general. This can certainly extend to smokers who are stressed about cravings and restrictions, too. Some common ways CBD oil can be taken are either by ingesting them or applying them topically. For instance, Kush Queen’s CBD lotions can be applied on the skin to induce the effects discreetly. On the other hand, for those who prefer to enjoy CBD orally, it can also be added to food or drinks (as directed by a given product) without compromising taste or flavour.

Being able to smoke in public places is getting more and more difficult. This is certainly the case with bars and restaurants, in particular. But between the fact that it is often still an option to light up outside, and the reality that there are a lot of ways to soothe cravings even inside an establishment, smokers do have options today.

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