Had I been elected at the 2005 General Election, I would not have voted to ban smoking in so called public places. Do not get me wrong, I have never liked cigarettes and I do not miss having to go in the shower after a couple of pints in the pub. I would also hate the idea of my children ever smoking when they are older.
This latest attempt does not convince me that this will deter people from smoking. As one person said on the BBC earlier today, some smokers may buy packs of 10 so that they can reduce their intake.
More generally, I have always worried about the disproportionate impact that this has on working class and lower income communites. This can be seen by the damage that the ban has had on pubs, especially ones that are landlocked and cannot increase their footprint in way that they can accommodate smokers and still comply with the law. Bingo Halls across the country are really struggling, in part as a result of that ban. The politician who spoke the most sense on this subject for me was Dr John Reid MP.