Pub chain Wetherspoons is to ban smoking in all its outlets by May 2006.
The company, which owns 650 pubs, also revealed that 60 of those will become smoke-free in four months time. The firm is taking the action two years ahead of government legislation.
Wetherspoons chairman Tim Martin attacked the Government’s proposals, claiming that some pubs will still be able to allow smoking if they do not sell food.
JD Wetherspoon said it will bring in bans from this May at its pubs in London, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Glasgow, Bristol, Birmingham and Nottingham.
“We believe the Wetherspoon approach of a complete ban after a period of notice is the right one,” said Martin.