Costa Coffee has banned smoking across its 370-strong estate. Prior to the announcement 90% of the estate had been smoke free. Mark Phillips, the brand’s managing director, said: "This is a significant step in the coffee arena as there is a very traditional image of coffee breaks going hand in hand with a cigarette. "In actual fact however, our research tells us that 80% of our customers would prefer a non-smoking environment. As a result we have implemented this nationwide ban to provide an attractive and safe environment for both our employees and customers." Deborah Arnott, director of Ash said: "Second-hand smoke is a serious health hazard for staff in the hospitality trade and research shows that over half of all adults want to eat and drink in smoke-free places. Costa is to be congratulated for making this move."