Over the past few years, the Club has carefully monitored our fans' attitudes towards smoking inside and around the Stadium. In line with general trends across the country, we have seen a fairly rapid move towards a large majority of fans preferring to enjoy our matches in a smoke-free environment.
As a consequence, we first introduced a smoking ban while the match was in progress for the 2001/2 season. We experimented with a total ban in North and West Stand seating areas the following season and reverted to a ban in all areas of the ground while the match is in progress in 2003/4, 2004/5 and 2005/6. This season we have also extended the smoking ban to include all of our corporate lounges at all times.
These progressive moves towards a total ban on smoking have proved to be very popular with the vast majority of our fans, while some football clubs have gone much further and have already introduced a total ban on smoking in their stadia. Others are set to follow.
The Club has continued to monitor supporters' attitudes towards the increasing movement towards a total smoking ban in public places and we have decided that, with effect from the 2006/7 season, our Stadium will also become a totally smoke-free environment. This will include all seating areas, public concourses and stairways, corporate lounges and boxes, and toilet and washroom areas.
This new policy reflects the attitude and wishes of the vast majority of our fans and the increasing trend towards a total smoking ban in all public places.
The Terms and Conditions of entry to our Stadium will change for next season to reflect the Club's new policy. In line with all of the Club's other Health & Safety related regulations and policies, the smoking ban will be vigorously enforced in all areas. Smoking will only be permitted outside of the Stadium's perimeter gates. Regrettably, the Club will be unable to issue "pass outs" to any part of the Stadium at any time once fans have entered the Stadium as re-entry will not be permitted.
This announcement has been made at this time to ensure supporters in all areas receive as much notice as possible of this important policy change. The Club would like to thank all supporters for their continued co-operation on this matter.