"Although I happen to be one of the people favouring a concerted move to limit smoking in enclosed public spaces, I have
always believed that a great deal could have been achieved through voluntary measures, rather than the sweeping powers taken by the
Government in the recent legislation.
Some of these powers, for example on enforcing the smoking ban in vehicles, are in my view unworkable and therefore likely to
bring the law into disrepute. The detailed regulations ensuing from the Health Act 2006 are extraordinarily draconian - from the
rules on signage in pubs and other buildings to the heavy fines which may be imposed on law-breakers. In all sorts of ways, the
Government have gone over the top in this legislation and I fear that we may hear before long how they
plan to extend the scope of the anti-smoking laws even further.
Personally, I am absolutely clear that any such extension of the ban, if it is proposed, must be fully consistent with civil
liberties and backed up by rigorous scientific evidence. If it can't be, it should be abandoned."
5th April 2007