The government will today publish its Health Improvement Bill outlining plans to ban smoking in some public places. Pubs not serving food and private members' clubs will be exempt from the ban, in line with Labour's original manifesto pledge. Smoking in restaurants will also be banned, as will smoking at the bar. Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary, said: "It is hard to find anyone outside the Cabinet who supports the original proposals to treat pubs that serve food differently from those that do not. "It is unworkable, and will increase health inequalities. It was overwhelmingly rejected by the public consultation." Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, who is believed to have favoured an outright ban, said: "We will monitor these proposals and there will be a review after three years. "I believe this bill will be very widely welcomed as a major step forward in protecting people from second-hand smoke, and improving the health of the nation." Nick Bish, chief executive of the ALMR, said: "It is well-known that food and alcohol are complementary and it is advisable not to drink on an empty stomach. If the government creates a situation where pubs cannot serve food because they want to cater to smokers, that will not be good for public health." Neil Williams of the BBPA said: "It will be very difficult to make a food-based ban work. The government has said their main motive is to protect the health of drinkers and staff working in pubs. We appreciate the damage done by passive smoking but landlords will inevitably lose business by choosing food over smoking, and vice versa." The proposals have also been criticised by anti-smoking campaigners. Ian Willmore at Ash said: "After days of dithering, the government has now returned to the option on smoking in pubs that absolutely everyone has already told them is the worst of the lot. "Many pubs will now stop serving food, damaging the government’s alcohol strategy. Non-food pubs will be concentrated in the poorer areas, making health inequalities even worse; and smoking pubs will compete with non-smoking pubs creating unfair competition."