The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has slammed the Government's plan to outlaw smoking in the workplace as a "chaotic muddle" that raises more questions than it answers.
Plans outlined in the Health Bill, which was presented to Parliament last Friday, did not include a blanket ban for England as many health lobbyists had predicted.
Instead, the Government has opted to stick to its original plan of exempting non-food pubs and private members clubs from the smoking ban despite intense criticism from health professionals and the pub industry alike.
Chief executive Bob Cotton condemned these proposals as an "unhealthy compromise" that failed to provide a level playing field.
The proposals also failed to reveal crucial details - such as the definition of prepared food and how the ban will be enforced.
"When new legislation is introduced, all the questions should have been answered. On this issue, they are only just beginning," said Cotton.
He added: "A total ban would have been perfectly consistent with medical opinion; there would have been infinitely less confusion; and the industry throughout the UK would have been on an equal footing."
by Angela Frewin