According to reports, Orris Johnson blocked the plan to smoke outside the pub after it was proposed by Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
The prime minister is said to have intervened when the policy left members of his cabinet “angry and bewildered”.
The minister was reportedly concerned that further legislation targeting the hospitality industry would hinder its recovery from Covid.
Smoking inside pubs and restaurants was banned in 2007 by Tony Blair’s government, although the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been considering expanding the policy in recent months.
As part of plans presented by the government’s health promotion task force, smoking outside pubs, restaurants and nightclubs will be completely banned.
Sources close to Mr Javid told daily Express That policy is no longer “happening”.
Another government source said: “It’s not just about taking away freedom of choice but it’s putting more red tape on businesses.”
In September, Oxfordshire announced plans to become the first county in England to ban smoking outside by 2025.
The county aims to reduce the number of teens who smoke as part of the plans by as much as three percent.
Employers will also be encouraged to promote a smoke-free environment and support employees to quit smoking.
A report by Dr. Adam Briggs, the public health official who led this strategy, found that smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in Oxfordshire, costing the public purse £120 million each year.
But for Tory MP Laurence Robertson, of Tukesbury, it is likely that such a policy would put further pressure on places if it were implemented nationally.
He told the Express: “The pub industry has already suffered a lot, so it doesn’t need any more problems.”
Smoking is banned outside venues by five councils – Northumberland, Durham, North Tyneside, Newcastle and the City of Manchester.
Evening Standard has contacted the Department of Health for comment.