Three German states introduce smoking ban
31 July 2007, Berlin (dpa) - A smoking ban comes into force in three of Germany's 16 federal states on Wednesday but the measures were dismissed as inadequate by the Germany Cancer Prevention Society.
31 July 2007
Berlin (dpa) - A smoking ban comes into force in three of Germany's 16 federal states on Wednesday but the measures were dismissed as inadequate by the Germany Cancer Prevention Society.
The ban applies to bars, restaurants, hospitals, schools and public buildings in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Lower Saxony, but only to hospitals, schools and public places in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, where a smoking ban in restaurants will come into force in 2008.
Cancer society vice president Dagmar Schipanski claimed the restrictions did not go far enough because they allowed for enclosed rooms to be set aside for smokers.
"Such rooms are used by cleaning staff and maintenance personnel" who "will be exposed to the risks of passive smoking," she told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung.
She also complained that a ban on tobacco advertising and cigarette vending machines was not included in the anti-smoking legislation.
But the government's anti-drugs commissioner, Sabine Baetzing, welcomed the move and said it was not intended discriminate against smokers or to ostracize them.
"It's a question of protecting people against the dangers of passive smoking," she said.
The move by the three states comes a month before a national ban on smoking in government buildings and public transport comes into force.
Germany has been discussing a smoking ban for years, but the measures fall far short of the total bans imposed by many of its European neighbours.
Smoking will be banned from September in 450 federal government buildings except in designated smoking rooms. But there will be no exceptions in taxis, coaches and trains. Violators face fines of up to 1,000 euros (1,370 dollars).
The remainder of German states are enacting legislation which is expected to come into force later this year or in 2008.
The legislation has split the German tobacco lobby, with the biggest maker, US-based Philip Morris, accepting the move and calling for more restrictions on cigarette advertising. Smaller makers oppose the restrictions.
Subject: German news