Anti-smoking group in first citizens’ initiative

19th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — Anti-smoking group Clean Air Nederland lodged the first citizens' imitative on Friday to try to persuade parliament to pass legislation.

19 May 2006

AMSTERDAM — Anti-smoking group Clean Air Nederland lodged the first citizens' imitative on Friday to try to persuade parliament to pass legislation.

The document received by parliament's chairman Frans Weisglas asks MPs to make all cafés and restaurants in the Netherlands smoke-free as soon as possible.

Since 1 May it is possible for ordinary citizens to have an issue placed on parliament's agenda by collecting 40,000 signatures. CAN collected 65,000 signatures in two months.

Employees in the Netherlands have had the right since 2004 to demand a smoke-free environment in the workplace. MPs made an exception for the hospitality industry, otherwise patrons of cafés and restaurants would not be allowed to smoke.  Parliament was not prepared to go this far.

Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst has pressed the industry to come up with voluntary measures to improve the air quality in their establishments but CAN feels a blanket ban is necessary.  

It is by no means certain parliament will accept the citizens' initiative as there is a disagreement about when the issue was last discussed. An citizens' initiative cannot deal with a subject debated by MPs in the preceding two years.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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