Page last updated at 00:39 GMT, Sunday, 20 September 2009 01:39 UK

Hockney calls for 'smoking rooms'

David Hockney tells the Politics Show about his views on smoking

British artist David Hockney is backing calls for a review of the smoking ban which he says is destroying "bohemia".

The 72-year-old lifelong smoker is supporting moves by a cross-party group of MPs to amend the UK smoking laws.

They want people to be able to light up in designated smoking rooms to prevent pubs that are losing trade closing.

Mr Hockney told the BBC's Politics Show he missed being able to smoke in his favourite cafe in East Yorkshire while admiring the view.

He accused former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successor Gordon Brown of interfering in his life and said: "I loathe them for it."

"I am not that interested in politics. I didn't care about any until recently," he added.

Smoking rooms with good ventilation systems would be an excellent idea
KA Owen, Bristol

East Yorkshire Conservative MP Greg Knight, who also supports the campaign, says that without a relaxation of smoking laws hundreds more pubs and clubs may be forced to close as they lose trade from smokers.

Smoking was banned in England in all public indoor spaces, including places of work, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs in 2007. The ban also applies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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