Almost three-quarters of people across the UK back an all-out ban on smoking in places of work, including pubs and restaurants, research reveals.
The YouGov survey of 3,600 respondents was commissioned by Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).
They said the results “fatally undermine the government’s claim that exemptions from smoke-free legislation for non-food pubs and clubs are needed in England.”
The poll found 72% of all respondents backed legislation to make all workplaces smokefree, including pubs and restaurants.
The figure for England was 71%, the same as for Scotland, which is already planning to introduce its own all-out ban.
Asked if all pubs and bars should be smokefree by law, 67% across the UK said “yes”. The figure for England was 66%, up from 51% in spring 2004.
Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Professor Alex Markham, said: “Ministers have said again and again that public opinion in England does not support a comprehensive smokefree law. This large and robust poll shows once again that this is just plain wrong.
“The widely derided exemptions for pubs and clubs must now be dropped from the Health Bill. The experience of other countries shows that smoke-free legislation must be comprehensive if it is to be successful.”