Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson has used his annual report to argue that smoking bans benefit rather than hinder the hospitality industry.
New York, he claimed, had seen an increase in sales at eating, drinking and hotel establishments, as well as a rise in restaurant employment since introducing a ban.
He said studies claiming to show that going smoke-free was bad for business "tend to be poor in quality and [are] sometimes funded by the tobacco industry."
Analysis commissioned by Donaldson showed that going smoke-free could help hospitality businesses, or at least that the effects would be "financially neutral", he said.
"There is no reliable evidence to back up the frequently made assertion that creating smoke-free public places would be bad for business in bars, restaurants and other places of leisure."
And he added: "Clearing the air of second-hand cigarette smoke in restaurants, bars and other enclosed public places would protect the health of both workers and customers."
Donaldson said a ban would also help people give up smoking and prevent many from taking it up in the first place.
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