German minister rejects restaurant smoking ban

11th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

11 October 2006, Berlin (dpa) - Germany's justice minister, who admits she enjoys puffing an occasional cigarette, on Wednesday rejected calls for a ban on all smoking in restaurants. "I think that restaurants have to be given the chance to decide if they want to be smoking restaurants," said Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries in an N24 TV interview. The German government is currently debating legislation to tighten up the country's smoking laws in public buildings. Its smoking laws are among the most relax

11 October 2006

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's justice minister, who admits she enjoys puffing an occasional cigarette, on Wednesday rejected calls for a ban on all smoking in restaurants.

"I think that restaurants have to be given the chance to decide if they want to be smoking restaurants," said Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries in an N24 TV interview.

The German government is currently debating legislation to tighten up the country's smoking laws in public buildings. Its smoking laws are among the most relaxed in western Europe.

Smoking is common in restaurants, bars and cafes throughout the country, and ashtrays are even set up throughout the federal chancellery in Berlin for smokers.

In contrast to Germany, a number of other European countries including Ireland, Italy and Scotland have banned smoking in public places and France and England are set to follow.

Germany appears unlikely to follow, says the influential news magazine Der Spiegel in a report on its website which dubbed the country "a smoker's paradise."

The powerful tobacco lobby has managed to win over politicians from both the left and the right to support watered-down anti-smoking regulations, said Der Spiegel.

Indeed, given the love many German politicians have for lighting up, this may not have been that difficult.

"(I don't smoke) in front of children, on TV or in the office but rather only sometimes in the evening when I'm having an alcoholic drink," admitted Zypries.

DPA

Subject: German news

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