Smoking ban review needed?

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CALLS to relax the smoking ban in Britain’s pubs and clubs have been backed by Pocklington and Market Weighton MP Greg Knight, who says a review is needed.

The ban has been in place for nearly four years and continues to be blamed for the number of pubs that have closed or are facing closure.

Recently, the rules have been relaxed in some European countries, including Denmark, where smoking is permitted in small designated rooms.

Speaking about the campaign to have the rules relaxed in Britain, Mr Knight told the latest edition of the Club & Institute Journal: “It is certainly an uphill battle to get Parliament to change a law once it has been introduced, particularly when any change is opposed by powerful interest groups, such as the British Medical Association and others.

“However, Denmark has shown that it can be done. Recently, they have decided to revise their smoking ban because it was closing down small bars.

“Now the Danes have decided to introduce more flexibility to allow the small bar owner to decide what his or her own rules should be.

“Provided non-smokers remain catered for, we should be reviewing our smoking ban here too.”

A number of pubs in the region have closed since the smoking ban came into play in July 2007, including The Square in Pocklington. Others reported a marked drop in trade, blaming both the ban and the spiralling price of beer.