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MPs move to make smoking ban comprehensive

11 January 2006

Rebel MPs last night tabled an amendment calling for a comprehensive ban on smoking in England.

The amendment was laid down by the chairman of the Health Select Committee, Kevin Barron MP, along with the group's nine other members.

If passed, it would mean no pubs or private clubs would be exempted from 2007's ban.

It follows the recent Committee report that branded Government plans to introduce a partial ban (which exempts drink-only pubs) as "unfair, unjust, inefficient and unworkable".

Barron said: "The Government is considering giving Labour MPs a free vote on this amendment. I hope they do. If carried, our amendment will greatly strengthen that part of the bill which aims to protect the public from the dangers of second-hand smoke."

Director of charity Cancer Research, Lesley Walker, said: "A partial ban is widely acknowledged to be unworkable. It would protect the health of some workers while leaving many of those at most risk from second-hand smoke exposure unprotected."

by Chris Druce

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