Ruthven House, Coldstream, the Borders
Ruthven House is a Victorian family house set in attractive gardens and grounds, situated three miles north of the historic town of Coldstream where the River Tweed marks the Border with England.
The award-winning guest house has been operating for five years and went smoke-free nearly three years ago.
Since the no-smoking policy was introduced, the response from guests has been very good. A number, particularly younger guests, are smokers but are aware that they have to go outside to smoke. Guests have always been willing to do that and the landlady, Liz Gradidge, can only recall one difficult incident. According to Mrs Gradidge, the important thing is to make sure guests are well aware of what is expected of them.
The no-smoking policy at Ruthven House is demonstrated with No Smoking signs in the bedrooms and in the main hallway. The signs need to be very visible as the nature of a guest house means that members of the public can be walking in and out all the time.
Part of the motivation behind Ruthven Houses smoke-free policy was to protect Mr Gradidge from the effects of passive smoking. Having smoked himself in the past, Mr Gradidge now suffers from emphysema, meaning that any smoke in the house could aggravate his symptoms.
As well as benefiting the health of Mr and Mrs Gradidge and their guests, the smoke-free policy creates a more pleasant atmosphere and ensures that the décor in Ruthven House is not affected by lingering smoke.
One aspect of permitting smoking in the house, which Mrs Gradidge was delighted to put behind her, was the difficulty in getting the smell of stale smoke out of the sitting room the morning after the night before. Smoke would cling to the curtains and upholstery and prove impossible to get rid of.
The smoke-free policy has made a huge difference, and most guests have responded enthusiastically, saying they were thankful that the guest house has established its no-smoking policy.