Trade leaders are relieved that European calls for tighter control on access to second hand smoke are unlikely to impact UK pubs.
The recommendation, announced earlier today, is not focused on banning smoking outside pubs or offices as had been reported. It is based on World Health Organisation guidance on protecting the public "from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places."
However, the recommendation does offer the possibility of tighter restrictions at some point, but with no specifics about how it may happen.
It says: "The protection of people from exposure to tobacco smoke should be strengthened and expanded, if necessary; such action may include new or amended legislation, improved enforcement and other measures to reflect new scientific evidence and case-study experiences."
Robert Humphreys, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, stressed that this was a non-binding recommendation, and said it was probably aimed at other member states without smoking bans.
Nick Bish, chief executive of the Association for Licensed Multiple Retailers, said any ban on outdoor public places was "some way off", adding, "the threat is not the most serious, but that does not mean we shouldn't keep a close eye on this."
Earlier today health minister Lord Darzi said there are no plans to extend the smoking ban to outdoor public places in the UK, following a question from crossbench peer Lord Laird.