Smoking should be banned in all public places to prevent up to 1,000 deaths a year from passive smoking, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said.
The RCN said 600 to 1,000 people die annually from illnesses caused by breathing in other people’s smoke.
Spokeswoman Jennifer Percival said it was “unforgivable” that a ban in England on smoking in pubs which serve food was not due to come into force until 2008.
Most European countries already had similar bans, she said.
“We have just got a new government, and one of the reasons that the Royal College of Nursing is now calling on this new government is often it is a time to rethink some of the decisions,” Percival said.
“The NHS is going completely smoke-free by the end of next year, and I would like to see public places follow suit.”
Percival said there was no evidence that hospitality industry profits had been affected in countries with smoking bans.