MPs back smoking ban for all workplaces

More than two-thirds of MPs want new smoking laws to cover all workplaces, without any of the proposed exemptions, research shows.

The government is currently proposing banning smoking in most workplaces in England, but with exemptions for pubs that do not serve prepared food and private members’ clubs.

Lobby groups Cancer Research and Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) have questioned more than 140 MPs from all parties about their feelings on the proposal.

They found that 69% of MPs would support a smoke-free law covering all workplaces, without the current exemptions being proposed.

More than three-quarters (77%) agreed that a widespread smoke-free law would make it more pleasant to visit public places. And 75% believed that smoking in workplaces should be prohibited to prevent people from doing things that might harm others.

A consultation on the proposals is currently under way, with anti-smoking campaigners hoping that ministers will opt for a full ban.

The survey found that support for such a smoke-free law had risen sharply since the last Parliament – from just 51% of MPs surveyed last year to more than two in three this year.

Campaigners believe that most responses to the consultation, which ends on 5 September, will back a comprehensive ban, dropping the current exemptions.

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