Research conducted by PinkNews.co.uk has revealed that gay venues in London are unprepared for a possible ban on smoking in public places.

The city’s top pubs and clubs were phoned and asked how much of an impact a ban would have on their trade. Some places had little idea about the legislation and others felt it would make no difference.

Rebecca from Trash Palace told PinkNews.co.uk: “Obviously any business would be affected. Hopefully a ban won’t stop people coming.”

These sentiments were echoed by Comptons who highlighted their two non smoking areas and didn’t have an opinion on how the ban would make a difference to them.

A G-A-Y bar spokesman said: “I don’t believe it will make a difference as people will be able to smoke in a designated outside area.”

However, PinkNews.co.uk’s research showed that the ban may have more of an impact on the customers. One smoker told PinkNews.co.uk he had no plans to quit, “We may just have to change the places we go to.”

But most smokers seem more willing to quit if a smoking is stopped, Phil told PinkNews.co.uk: “I have always wanted to quit but have never had the willpower.”

“It will be easier to stop when no one else around you is smoking as there will be no temptation.”

Another respondent said: “I only ever smoke socially so if no one else is there will be no need for me to.”

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair has allowed a free vote today over proposals for a full ban, an exemption for members’ clubs, or a partial ban excluding pubs and clubs that do not serve food.

The House of Commons Health Select Committee, which wants a total ban, has criticised a partial ban which would allow customers to smoke in clubs and pubs which do not serve food.

MPs are debating the Health Bill this evening. A vote is expected before 10pm.

In December, 71 per cent of respondents in a YouGov poll favoured a smoking ban in all workplaces including pubs and restaurants.

Smoking is to be banned in public places in Scotland this Spring. The Republic of Ireland has already banned smoking in all workplaces, including pubs since 2005.