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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 5:00 pm on 14th February 2006.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb Shadow Secretary of State for Health 5:00 pm, 14th February 2006

No. The hon. Gentleman is getting confused between a certainty of 5 per cent. and a probability of five in 100. In other words, as we have just heard, no one doubts that the health of people who work in bars where people smoke suffers and that some of them die prematurely. That is certain, inasmuch as these things can ever be proven with certainty. There is not a 5 per cent. chance that that is true; it is pretty much 100 per cent. true for that 5 per cent. That is the distinction that I am making. A set of people who work in such environments suffer and that is pretty much proven empirically.

Irrespective of whether we are talking about private space, the issue is about the welfare of the people who work there. If we exempt private members' clubs, do we risk driving a coach and horses through the exemption altogether? I am not sure whether I am clear about the answer. Will the Rose and Crown turn itself into a private members' club?