Pub operators in England will have to wait until next year before they find out any more official details about the smoking ban, due to start in mid-2007.
Labour MP Kevin Barrow, chairman of the Health Select Committee, said last week that further details would appear only after the Health Bill had passed through parliament.
The bill, which allows pubs that don't serve food to sidestep the complete ban on smoking in enclosed public places, is scheduled to have its second reading before the start of December.
It then passes to an independent standing committee before going back to the Commons for a third reading, likely to be at the start of 2006. The bill might then go to a vote before it goes through a similar process in the Lords.
If the bill passes through the Lords unchallenged, it is expected to become an act in early summer of next year.
- Liverpool is pressing for a blanket ban on smoking in all public places across the city, despite the Government's decision to opt for a partial ban. The city council has written to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to allow its bill, which is scheduled to go before a House of Lords committee in January, to run alongside Government plans as a pilot scheme.