MPs support campaign to amend smoking ban in pubs

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pubs England Wales

Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign is suggesting amending the smoking bill to bring smoking rooms into pubs
Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign is suggesting amending the smoking bill to bring smoking rooms into pubs
MPs from the three main parties are hosting a reception at The House of Commons later today to gain support for a campaign to amend the smoking ban.

Greg Knight (Conservative), Roger Godsiff (Labour) and John Hemming (Liberal Democrat) are hosting the reception on behalf of the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign, which is calling for an amendment to the smoking ban to help halt the number of pub closures.

The campaign, supported by consumer rights' organisation Forest, is not calling for a repeal of the ban, but wants the Government to consider amendments to the bill, such as allowing smokers to use a well-ventilated designated smoking room in pubs large enough to accommodate them.

Devastating impact

Campaigners say the ban has had a devastating impact on community pubs throughout Britain. Almost three years after the introduction of smoking bans in England, Scotland and Wales, Scotland had lost 7.1 per cent of its pub estate (467 pubs), Wales 7.3 per cent (274), and England 7.6 per cent (4,148).

Simon Clark, director of the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign, said: “Looking at the dramatic increase in pub closures since the introduction of smoking bans in Scotland, Wales and England, it is clear that the ban has been a big factor in the closure of pubs and clubs throughout Britain.

“The Government must review the ban and consider a change in the law that would allow separate smoking rooms in pubs and clubs.”

Supporters of the campaign, including publicans and members of the Clubs & Institute Union, representing more than 2,000 working men's clubs, are expected to attend the reception which is being held on the fourth anniversary of the introduction of the ban in England.

Knight, who helped launch the campaign in 2009, said: “This is a unique opportunity for pubs and clubs to show how strongly they feel on this important issue. A modest change in the law, not a repeal of the smoking ban, is all we seek."

Sunday Mirror campaign

National newspaper The Sunday Mirror has also launched a campaign to win a better deal for Britain's struggling pubs. Support Your Pub, backed by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), was launched on Sunday urging readers to visit their local pubs more often.

The newspaper has printed 5,000 Support Your Pub campaign stickers to be distributed to CAMRA members and says it is calling on David Cameron to honour his election promise to be 'pub friendly' and protect pubs.

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