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Campaign claims ventilation can solve pub crisis

Modern ventilation could solve the crisis facing pubs and clubs due to the smoking ban - a new campaign is claiming.

The Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign has support from MPs in all major parties and claims ventilation systems should be able to mitigate the threat of tobacco smoke.

The MPs hope to force an amendment to allow pubs to have a ventilated smoking room when legislation comes up for review in 2010.

Celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson, patron of the smokers’ group Forest and a leading supporter of the campaign, said: “The smoking ban has had an extraordinarily detrimental effect on pubs and clubs. Modern ventilation systems combined with separate rooms make it perfectly acceptable to smoke indoors. The legislation as it stands is excessive and I would like to see it amended.'

Among the key recommendations are allowing the smoking of tobacco only in venues that can secure a licence by ensuring an agreed level of ventilation and air quality in both smoking and non-smoking areas.

Other proposals include adopting the Spanish model – whereby venues with limited floor space can choose to be smoking or non-smoking, but venues larger than 1002 metres can have a designated smoking room if this constitutes less than 30 per cent of total floor space, is fully partitioned and separated from the rest of the venue, and can be wholly avoided by non-smokers.

The campaign also want local authorities to have some discretion in determining the nature and extent of smoking regulations.

Greg Knight, Conservative MP for East Yorkshire, said: 'Britain's pubs and clubs are at the heart of every local community and the UK approach of banning indoor smoking everywhere is damaging the viability of many licensed premises where people wish to smoke.'

For more on the campaign click here