The government has promised that the proposed changes to the law on smoking will be put to a free vote of MPs, and that a total ban on smoking in all public places will be one of the options available. Current policy is to allow smoking to continue in private clubs and pubs which do not serve food, but a split in the Cabinet has meant that a consensus cannot be reached as to which way to proceed. Other proposed measures include raising the age limit for buying tobacco products from sixteen to eighteen.
Personally I’d love to see a total ban on smoking, as I hate coming home from the pub smelling like I’ve made my way through a pack of cigarettes over the course of the evening. I disagree with the small number of Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs who think a total ban would infringe on civil liberties by stopping people from smoking in public. Banning the sale of cigarettes to people under the age of eighteen might also help curb teenage smoking, although I’ve seen children as young as thirteen buying cigarettes over the counters so I’m not sure that an increase in the age limit would make much of a difference.