Conservative MP Brian Binley has initiated an Early Day Motion calling for an inquiry into the effectiveness of the last government's smoking ban. The EDM "calls upon the Government to conduct a thorough review, supported by consultation with all parties and affected business sectors on the impact the smoking ban has had on public houses and private members clubs". It continues:
"Any review should consider a balanced and proportionate amendment to the legislation, which allows for segregated smoking rooms or areas within pubs, bars and clubs provided that effective smoke extraction systems of an authorised standard are installed, enabling smokers to be accommodated in comfort indoors without impacting on non smokers and staff whilst reducing intrusive noise to many who live close to such establishments, thus helping to safeguard the future of many in the licensed trade. And that any changes to the smoking ban legislation thereafter should be made on the basis of evidence, fairness, proportionality recognising the importance of such institutions to the nation’s social life and community wellbeing."
Mr Binley says that Labour ministers promised to review the ban three years after it came into force on 1st July 2007. That review does not appear to be forthcoming despite the fact that 2,000 pubs and clubs closed last year – in part, it is alleged, because of the smoking ban.
Mr Binley commented:
“Many pubs and clubs are finding it difficult dealing with the economic situation; the smoking ban has further impacted on many businesses and the trade is really struggling. I want to consider a balanced and proportionate amendment to the legislation, which allows for segregated smoking rooms or areas within pubs, bars and clubs provided that effective smoke extraction systems of an authorised standard are installed.”
> Related link: Why you should support the campaign to amend the smoking ban by Shane Frith