The smoking ban has been a success and will not create long-term economic problems for pubs.
That is the view of health secretary Alan Johnson in response to a petition from customers of the Swan Hotel in Rossendale, Lancashire.
The MP believes wider cultural issues are to blame for the number of pubs struggling and not the smoking ban.
The petition, from 93 customers, asked for the venue to allow smoking if it displayed a sign saying "smoking establishment".
It was presented by local Labour MP Janet Anderson, who said regulars report at least one third of their friends have stopped visiting the Swan as a "direct result" of the ban.
However, in response Johnson said the smoking ban had been "highly successful" and "heralded by many as the most significant public health intervention for a generation".
He said: "We have seen no significant evidence to suggest that smoke-free legislation either in this country, or in others where similar legislation has been in place for some years, will create any long-term economic problems for pubs or for the hospitality trade in general."
Johnson believes that the smoke ban should not be blamed for an increase in the number of pub closures.
"Evidence in fact suggests that it is likely to be prevailing economic, structural and cultural issues, rather than the introduction of smoke-free legislation, which will be primary cause of any significant decline in the pub sector," he said.
A full review of the smoking ban will be completed by July 2010.