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MPs host event to change smoking ban

Fri 1st July, 2011

MPs from the three main political parties joined forces on Wednesday to support the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign to change the smoking ban.

They were joined by internationally famous artist David Hockney.

The event, held at the House of Commons, marked the fourth anniversary of smoking ban in England and saw the Rt Hon Greg Knight, Conservative MP for East Yorkshire, Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, and John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, hosting a reception for over 200 supporters of the campaign which lobbies MPs for a review of the ban and an amendment to the legislation.

Roger Godsiff, said: “The reason I am more than happy to support this campaign is because I believe that the British tradition of pubs, working men’s clubs and other places where people can meet is a very important tradition that I would like to keep going.

“For somebody to have the opportunity of going into a pub and having a drink is also not putting smoke in somebody else’s face but being able to go to a separate room where they can smoke, whether it be a cigarette, a pipe or a cigar, I can see absolutely nothing at all wrong with that.”

David Hockney, who has been a smoker for 56 years, told an appreciative audience that he didn’t like busy-body politicians; that he didn’t like the meanness that had entered the anti-tobacco debate; and that he was concerned about the end of the essential Bohemian spirit.

Simon Clark, director of Save Our Pubs & Clubs, said: “Campaigners said they want a review of the ban and an amendment to the legislation that would give pubs and private members’ clubs the option of having separate, well-ventilated smoking rooms. The Government should review the ban and consider a change in the law that would allow separate smoking rooms in pubs and clubs.”

He vowed to organise another rally next year and every year until the ban was amended.

Sources: Morning Advertiser, (1 July 2011), Tobacco Reporter (30 June 2011), 
BBC News (29 June 2011)


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