After attending the event where the BMA presented the Merchant Hotel with a smoke-free award, the Strangford Alliance MLA said: “We look forward to the day that all bars, restaurants and hotels are smoke free.
“This will be a real challenge for these establishments but the final result is definitely worth it.
“The smoking ban will help improve public health. It will not only protect staff working in bars and restaurants, it will also protect their customers.
“There must be strict enforcement of the ban to ensure that it works effectively and any establishments that need assistance with the new regulations should contact their local council.
“We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Merchant Hotel on their award and they have demonstrated that a smoking ban can be a success.”