Licensing minister Shaun Woodward says the government is working hard to get the smoking ban details correct.
During an exclusive face-to-face interview with thepublican.com he claimed that getting the precise details of the smoking ban right, including the start-date was a high priority for the government.
Woodward said he had been in touch with other government departments to ensure the move to the ban, which is expected to be introduced next summer, progresses smoothly.
"Everyone wants to get this right," he said. "What causes fear is uncertainty so where we can remove the uncertainty we will - but it won't be removed by arbitrary decisions, it will be removed by making the best decisions."
He has urged licensees concerned about the ban to look at the experiences of other countries - and dismisses the idea that there will be a significant re-engineering of the pub industry as a result.
"Go to New York. Have a look at the effect on the hospitality sector immediately after their ban came in - everyone had dire predictions but the result was that you actually saw an increase in the hospitality sector," he argued.
"I think there is actually an opportunity for more sales in pubs as a result of this…it's not something being lost it's an opportunity being gained."
Business in those countries which have closed may simply have been "pushed over the edge" by the ban, he claimed. "If you were to look at those businesses you would probably have noticed a decline in their sales over a number of years. To blame their closure on the cigarette ban is misleading."