The government's fudged ban on allowing smoking in pubs that don't serve food will run into new trouble this week when the Commons Health Committee describes it as unfair and unworkable. The committee report, which draws heavily on the evidence of chief medial officer Sir Liam Donaldson, will reject claims that the public would not support a total ban on smoking in public places. Citing evidence from Ireland, it claims a total ban would bring "sizeable benefits" to public health and points out that pubs not serving food are concentrated in deprived areas. The report will also criticise former Health Secretary John Reid, who suggested smoking was one of the few pleasures left to people in poor areas. Anti-smoking group Ash estimates that up to 60 Labour MPs are ready to vote against the government over the compromise ban. New Tory leader David Cameron has promised his MPs a free vote, but is likely to do to what he can to maximise the government's difficulties. Meanwhile a new study by economists at University College London, and based on extensive American data, suggests that children's health will be put at risk if smoking is banned in all restaurants and bars. The team's report concludes that parents, particularly poorer ones, would tend to smoke more at home with the result that their children would suffer the effects of passive smoking. The Independent on Sunday 18/12/05 page 13 The Sunday Times 18/12/05 page 5 The Mail on Sunday 18/12/05 page 2 The Observer 18/12/05 page 1