Boots hands out free sun cream to pub goers
sachets of free sun cream to its customers; in an attempt to curb
the increase in sunburn resulting from the smoking ban.
Laurel Pub Company, one of the UK's leading managed pub and restaurant operators, will be handing out £300,000 (€450,000) worth of Boots Soltan sachets free to its customers in the hope of preventing sun burn. The move is in reaction to observations that customers spend significantly longer periods outside in pub gardens, in order to enjoy that ubiquitous beer and cigarette combination. Since the inception of the ban on July 1st of this year, pub customers are apparently spending up to 20 hours extra a month in the sun, in pub gardens. In addition, the ban affects all covered spaces, even pub gardens with awnings, which may lead to an increased number of exposed outdoor spaces, providing little sun protection for customers. "Since the smoking ban we have noticed customers spending significantly more time outside and when the sun's out, getting pink - so we hope that by offering free sun cream to our customers, we'll help to prevent the problem" said Nicola Stuart, brand development manager for the Slug and Lettuce. Boots skin care expert Clare O'Conner explained that "even before the ban one in five admitted to having suffered sunburn while in a beer garden - a figure we would like to stub out rather than see grow." According to Boots research a surprisingly large proportion of sun burn occurs on English soils, approximately 60 per cent, a figure that the company does not wish to rise due to the smoking ban. "Much of the nation's sunburn is the result of complacency and so we're calling on people to take more care and remember that even on a cloudy day, you're still exposed to the sun's harmful rays," added O'Connor. The Laurel Pub Company has approximately 460 drinking and eating establishments throughout the UK, including Ha! Ha! Bar and Canteen and the Slug and Lettuce.