TV chef and publican Antony Worrall Thompson has launched an e-petition calling on the government to review the smoking ban.
The text of the petition is: “We petition the Government to review the impact of the smoking ban on pubs and clubs and consider an amendment that would give licensees the option of separate well-ventilated smoking rooms.”
Worrall Thompson, who runs The Greyhound pub at Rotherfield Peppard near Henley-on-Thames and is patron of the smokers’ group Forest, said: “Since the introduction of the smoking ban there has been a dramatic increase in pub closures. The ban has damaged local communities with thousands of people deciding to stay at home instead of going out.
“Let’s be fair. Tobacco is a legal product. In Britain 10m adult smokers contribute £10bn a year in tobacco taxation alone. It’s only right that they should be accommodated in some public places.
“If the government doesn’t want adults to smoke at home in front of the children or litter the streets, they should be allowed to smoke in some licensed premises.”
Simon Clark, director of Forest and the Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign, said: “Give landlords and customers a choice. We want the smoking ban amended so licensees can choose to provide a separate, well-ventilated smoking room for adults who wish to smoke.
“Let common sense prevail. A modest change in the law is all we ask.”
To sign the petition go to: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/14103