Choker: Reid signals retreat over ban on smoking in pubs and clubs
Most people do not want a blanket ban on smoking in pubs, Health Secretary John Reid claimed this week.
His remarks appeared to show a retreat on plans to ban smoking in pubs and clubs and infuriated anti-smoking campaigners.
They had hoped this week's White Paper on health might be a first step towards a total ban on smoking in public.
Reid said: "Public opinion says in workplaces, other than licensed premises, people do want severe restrictions running through to bans.
"In pubs it's slightly more complicated. About 80% want restrictions in pubs but they don't necessarily want a complete ban."
The Financial Times
Reid plans ban on smoking in places that serve food
Smoking is to be banned in all restaurants and pubs that serve food, under Government proposals to be published this week.
Health Secretary John Reid has decided against allowing pubs, restaurants and offices to apply to their local authorities for licences that would allow smoking.
Instead, he will offer a set of national restrictions that ban smoking in all restaurants that provide hot food.
The measures will be included in the long-awaited health White Paper.
Smoking 'causes half of all deaths'
Half of all deaths in some areas may be caused by smoking in an "epidemic" which is killing 230 people every day, new official figures show.
Every year 86,500 people die in England from smoke-related diseases, the statistics reveal.
The rate is highest in cities but, even in rural areas, up to a quarter of deaths are blamed on smoking.
The new report, The Smoking Epidemic in England, looked at deaths between 1998 and 2002 in more than 300 parts of the country.
Scotland blazes trail for UKwith smoking ban
Last orders were called last week on the age-old Scottish drinker's triptych of a hauf ‘n' a hauf ‘n' a fag after the Scottish Executive announced it would introduce legislation before Christmas to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces.
Smoke 'em out
Smoking should be banned in public places, say the majority of people in a Mirror poll.
Seventy per cent of people want smoking outlawed in restaurants, with 20% opposed. People in the 55-plus age group are most in favour, with 82.5% against.
Most people favour a ban in pubs, with 49% for and 44% against.
Pub landlords argue that a ban would hit trade, but the survey suggests it might actually boost business.