MPs have voted to ban smoking in all enclosed public places in England, including all pubs and private members' clubs. What has the reaction been to the news?
The health lobby is delighted
Professor Alex Markham, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "This is
the most important advance in public health since Sir Richard Doll identified
that smoking causes lung cancer 50 years ago. Today's vote will protect thousands of workers and save many lives."
Deborah Arnott, director of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), said: "MPs will rarely get the chance to cast a vote that does so much good, at such little cost, in such a short time. This is the best news for public health for more than 30 years."
Simon Clark, director of smoking support group Forest, said: "This is a double
whammy and an unnecessary and illiberal piece of legislation that denies freedom
of choice to millions of people.
"The government should educate people about the health risks of smoking but
politicians have no right to force people to quit by making it more difficult
for people to consume a legal product.
"A total ban is disproportionate to the problems of second-hand smoking.
Unfortunately MPs have been seduced by an unprecedented campaign of
propaganda about the effects of passive smoking for which the evidence is
inconclusive. The medical profession should be ashamed of itself."
Fresh, the Campaign for a Smoke Free North East, said: "We must make sure this legislation comes into force as soon as practically
possible. We must also make sure that it is implemented smoothly and in the period up
to the introduction of the legislation Fresh will be educating the public and
working with businesses across the region to make sure the ban works from day
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "This is a major victory for the
simple union principle that people at work should not have to breathe in
Peter Hollins, director general of the British Heart Foundation, said: "This is the best possible Valentine's gift from MPs to bar workers in public bars and private members' clubs across England."
Mark Hastings, of the British Beer and Pub
Association, said: "We are pleased that MPs have ensured a level playing field for all,
with no exemption for private members' clubs. Such clubs are in direct competition with pubs, and they are not private
places. They sell 1.2 billion pints of beer a year, and their thousands of employees
are subject to the same health and safety at work regulations as pub industry
"Now the real hard work begins, preparing our customers and pubs for this
cultural shift. There is still the prospect that hundreds of community pubs
will close and people will lose their jobs."
The Local Government Association's public health spokesperson, Councillor David Rogers,
said: "Common sense has triumphed at last. The majority of people in this country support a complete ban, and the
decision by MPs to reflect this opinion is a breath of fresh air."