Pub trade representatives have strongly criticized the government’s delay in issuing the guidelines on the smoking ban. Rob Hayward, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has written a letter to the health minister Caroline Flint describing the situation as “totally unacceptable”. Hayward said: “The absence of the publication of the drafts indicates that government does not recognise their importance either for business or local government. “All they are trying to do is convert the Scottish regulations into English law and in that respect there should not have been a delay.” Nick Bish from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) said: “The government must publish the guidance before Christmas to avoid a repeat of the Licensing Act fiasco. “Rushed smoking legislation in Scotland led to a 10% decline in pub sales.” Bish added: “Operators need clear, unambiguous and workable rules published well in advance of the ban’s implementation to allow them to make the necessary changes to their business.” The government announced last week that the ban would start 1 July.