The Government has put forward revised proposals for a smoking ban in public places, agreeing to allow smoking in sealed rooms in pubs and bars that do not serve food and in private members’ clubs.
However, the compromise deal has frustrated anti-smoking groups that wanted an outright ban, and tobacco industry sources that feel the Government has gone back on earlier promises.
Under the latest proposals, smoking would be banned in enclosed public and work places.
Details of the rules governing smoking rooms have yet to be finalised, but some industry observers fear that forcing smokers into sealed rooms in pubs could be a way of introducing an outright ban through the back door.
Amanda Sandford of anti-smoking pressure group ASH says that the Government has been “crawling” towards an inevitable ban, and describes the smoking rooms as “sarcophagi”.