Doctors have urged the government not to delay the introduction of a complete smoking ban in public places, including work environments.
The government has denied reports that it would opt for an outright ban which were carried widely in newspapers at the weekend.
Health minister Caroline Flint told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that weekend newspaper reports suggesting the government might go for a total ban were “false, speculation, anonymous briefings”.
However, the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Deputy Chairman, Dr Sam Everington, said it should not matter where an employee works.
“Whether someone works in an office or a non-food pub, they have a right to have their health protected at work.
“In our recent survey, 68% of the UK public said they believe that the health of pub staff should be protected from second-hand smoke at work,” he said.
“Public opinion is on the side of healthy working environments and we urge the government not to delay, and ban smoking in all enclosed public places.”
In May 2005, the BMA launched a report, Booze, Fags and Food, that showed that in some areas more than 80% of pubs were non-food and would therefore still allow smoking if the current proposals came into force.