A CAMPAIGN to cut passive smoking in pubs and restaurants is being backed by Colne Valley MP Kali Mountford.

But the Labour MP says lighting up should not be banned totally but allowed only in smoking areas.

She wants pubs and restaurants to set up smoking and non- smoking areas voluntarily rather than waiting for Government legislation.

She said: "It would be much better if places such as public houses and restaurants did this freely rather than waiting to see if there is legislation forcing them to do so.

"There is strong evidence that passive smoking can be harmful and I am pleased that a lot of pubs and restaurants, including many in my constituency, have recognised this.

"If voluntary action is taken on the issue it will benefit owners, staff and customers."

Ms Mountford bel- ieves pubs with non- smoking areas might see more custom.

She said: "Non- smokers are more likely to frequent pubs where there are smoke-free zones so landlords will have increased trade.

"It should also be possible to earmark parts of the bar where staff will serve only non-smokers.

"I am opposed to making establishments totally smoke- free. Creating areas for non-smokers will largely deal with the problem and give customers freedom of choice."

The comments come just days after Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman backed action by anti-smoking group Ash urging pub, club and restaurant staff to take legal action if they had been subjected to second-hand smoke while at work.

In October last year Mr Sheerman was one of more than 100 MPs who signed a motion calling for legislation to ban smoking in public places.