DoH pours water on smoking ban story

27 July 2004
DoH pours water on smoking ban story

The Government has branded as "speculation" a newspaper report stating smoking is to be banned in restaurants but not pubs.

An article in the News of the World said new laws to be outlined in an autumn White Paper would make it illegal for diners to smoke in restaurants, but it said drinkers would still be allowed to light up in pubs and bars.

The paper claimed that Health Secretary John Reid had finalised his plans following the publication of a survey by the Office for National Statistics on smoking behaviour and attitudes.

Of the thousands of smokers polled, it found that 87% wanted cigarettes banned in restaurants, while only 20% wanted a total ban in pubs.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "A White Paper is being published in the autumn and it will cover the issue of smoking in public places and the various options surrounding this.

"Nothing, however, has been published yet. It seems the News of the World knows more about it than we do."

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