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New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions

Part of Orders of the Day — Health Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 14th February 2006.

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Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Secretary of State, Department of Health 4:00 pm, 14th February 2006

I said on Second Reading that I was delighted to be bringing forward a Bill that is an enormous step forward for public health, regardless of the question of non-food-serving pubs. As I indicated, the issue is how we strike the right balance between protecting people from harm on the one hand and protecting people's freedom of choice on the other. One such balance is reflected in clause 3, but I and many of my hon. Friends believe that it would be better to achieve the balance of imposing a smoking ban on all licensed premises, regardless of whether they serve food.