HEALTH Secretary Sajid Javid’s bid to ban smoking outside pubs and clubs has been slapped down by colleagues.
He pushed for a pavement ban but the audacious idea was killed off by “outraged” cabinet ministers.
New Communities Secretary Michael Gove — who enjoys the odd smoke — delivered a killer blow to Mr Javid’s plan when he insisted that stretched local authorities would never be able to police the ban.
The policy, recommended by the Government’s Health Promotion Taskforce, would have outlawed smoking directly outside venues such as pubs and restaurants. Ministers also warned that the move would be a hammer blow to pubs, which have been crippled by the pandemic.
The taskforce was launched by Boris Johnson and Mr Javid’s predecessor Matt Hancock.
Its aim is to improve the nation’s health, boost mental wellbeing and promote exercise.
Health sources insisted Mr Javid was not pushing the policy, but officials were very keen.
A government source said the proposal definitely will not happen and it was a “bad idea” taking away freedom and putting “more red tape on business”.
Simon Clark, director of smokers’ group Forest said: “Banning smoking in pavement areas is completely unjustified because there is no evidence that smoking outside is a significant risk to non-smokers.
“What the hospitality industry doesn’t need, as it tries to recover from the pandemic, are further regulations that may deter customers from returning.”
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