Smokers in final bid to curb ban

Smokers' rights campaigners are making a final stand against the smoking ban, which will come into effect in England on July 1, by urging the government to make some exceptions for private clubs and pubs.

Smokers' lobby group Forest is calling for the legislation to be amended in order to allow some pubs and private members clubs' to provide smoking areas.

The group is holding a 'Revolt in Style' dinner at London's Savoy Hotel tonight, which will be hosted by celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson and will have 400 guests, including politicians and celebrities.

Forest director Simon Clark is expected to tell the guests: "We have lost the battle, but we haven't lost the war", and urge the government to allow some pubs and private members clubs to be allowed to have designated smoking areas.

Mr Clark will say: "Britain is developing into a nanny state. When you leave school you are considered to be an adult. You should be mature enough to make informed choices about eating, drinking, smoking and other activities that give you pleasure but involve a degree of risk."

Claire Fox, Director of the Institute of Ideas, will say: "It is a sign of our small-minded times when the most exciting new idea to come out of politics is banning smoking."

Smoking will be banned in nearly all enclosed public places and workplaces in England, including pubs, restaurants, offices, factories and shopping centres, from Sunday.

Bans are already in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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