A pub landlord said Thursday his plot to get round England's smoking ban by selling nicotine gum and lozenges had caught fire with customers.
Chris Llewelyn, 49, the landlord at the Cobblestones Inn near Bridgwater, southwest England, came up with the brainwave after smokers grumbled about having to go outside in the miserable weather for a nicotine hit.
AdvertisementEngland's ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces was introduced on July 1, bringing it into line with the rest of the United Kingdom.
But smokers in the Cobblestones can now order a piece of fruit- or mint-flavoured nicotine gum or a nicotine lozenge at 25 pence (50 US cents, 37 euro cent) each at the bar.
"After the ban came into force a couple of customers said to me that I should start selling nicotine gum so they could get a quick hit," said Llewelyn, himself a smoker.
"With the British summer being what it is, people wanted to stay inside rather than go out into the rain for a smoke.
"I consulted with the National Health Service and they said as long as the gum being sold was the same as that available in the supermarkets and not on prescription there wouldn't be any problem.
"The thing has snowballed a bit, the gum and lozenges have become quite popular, people often order them with their drinks.
"I'm a long way from becoming a millionaire by selling the gum but it's a good thing really because it's enabling people to get that nicotine hit and at the same time it's a way for people to give up smoking."