The forthcoming smoking ban could prove an unexpected boon to the leisure industry, sparking an eating-out revolution in pubs and restaurants, says The Sunday Telegraph’s business editor, Dan Roberts. The Independent on Sunday says restaurateurs have reported considerably reduced linen bills in Ireland and Scotland, which have already introduced bans on smoking in enclosed public places. However, the newspaper also points to an independent study by researchers at University College London, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the London School of Economics, which found there had been a 14% drop in customers and a 10% drop in sales in the licensing trade. The short-term impact did not lead to more customers coming into pubs because of the smoke-free atmosphere and, presumably, did not persuade smokers to spend more money on drink or food instead of smoking, they said. The Sunday Times reports that the minimum legal age for smoking will be raised from 16 to 18 from October 2007. The Sunday Telegraph (Business) 31/12/06 page B3 (Business Editor’s commentary) The Independent on Sunday 31/12/06 page 10-11 The Sunday Times 31/12/06 page 10