A Midland MP is urging supporters of a smoking ban to make their views known.

Michael Fabricant
Michael Fabricant
 

Michael Fabricant (Con Lichfield) said he supported an end to all smoking in pubs, restaurants and workplaces.

He called on the public to write to local newspapers, their MP and the Department of Health to make their views known.

The Government's Health Improvement Bill, due to come to the Commons in November, will outlaw smoking in all pubs serving food.

But Ministers have backed away from a full ban on smoking in pubs, as operates in Ireland.

Mr Fabricant, a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, said he had received e-mails and letters from constituents including GPs who demanded an all-out ban.

He said: "I share most of the sentiments expressed in these letters though I believe that in the case of private members' clubs it should be up to the members to decide whether there should be no ban, a partial ban, or a full ban on smoking on the premises.

"It is clear to me that if Raleigh had come back with tobacco in this day and age, it would have been declared an illegal drug because of the illhealth it causes, not just to smokers but to those around them.

"I think the current law creates difficulties for publicans. Some will be exempted from excluding smokers, while others will have to enforce an all-out ban.

"There has to be some consistency in the law, without so many loopholes.

"I am interested in what West Midlanders have to say about this."

The MP added: "I would be interested to know the general views of my constituents and ask that they write in to their local newspapers, as well as to me, so that we can all gauge public opinion on this controversial subject."