IT'S quite rare for non-smokers to give a second thought to the needs of those who consume the evil weed.

But non-smoking hotelier Chaz Charlton has done just that - by inventing the mobile smoking shelter.

Mr Charlton, who owns the Clifton Hotel on Portland, developed the idea alongside hotel manager Mark Pollard.

The mobile shelter - available to guests and staff - is an umbrella large and light enough for people to wear to cover their heads and shoulders.

Portland born and raised Mr Charlton, 41, said the idea was born of necessity.

He said: "Basically, there was a planning issue when it came to putting up a smoking shelter.

"Plus, the Clifton gets strong winds coming off the cliffs from behind the hotel, so we couldn't put a shelter up there or out the front.

"So we came up with these shelters as a way for people to stand out the front and smoke and not worry about the wind and rain so much."

The hotel now provides boxes filled with the mobile shelters' for its patrons' and staff members' to use as they need.

"The customers love it," said Mr Charlton, "and the staff quite like them too.

"I don't smoke but I'm not against smokers either.

"I'm against the policy made for smokers to ensure they smoke outdoors.

"All it does is separate people and make it less likely for smokers and non-smokers to interact with each other.

"People just used to accept the atmosphere in pubs but now everyone has to split up.

"These shelters have proven to be very popular with guests aged 18 to 65."

Mr Pollard said: "We came up with the idea together.

"Once we had the idea we went on to the Internet to see if we could find some hats suitable.

"They've been especially popular because of the torrential rain we've been having."