Smoking ban in small Dutch pubs lifted
A smoking ban in small Dutch pubs has been lifted. An estimated 400 pubs smaller than 70 square metres where only the owner works will no longer have to ban smoking says Health Minister Edith Schippers.
In anticipation of a change in the law, no more checks will be carried out in small pubs by the Food and Consumer Product Safety authority. Elsewhere the ban remains in force.
The minister said the new law will allow consumer choice. A sign will inform customers whether or not they are allowed to smoke on the premises.
A total of 280 fines will be dropped, although court cases that have already begun will continue.
Minister Schippers has stopped research into ventilation systems for small pubs started by her predecessor Ab Klink. Although she does say she will not stand for quibbling over the size of the pub. Any pub bigger than 70 square metres will be subject to fines.
Owner of the Victoria in the southern city of Breda is pleased with the decision, although its case is still under review.
Clean Air Netherlands is disappointed with the decision, it had collected 35,000 signatures against lifting the ban since mid-October.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide