Smoking ban in small Dutch pubs lifted

3rd November 2010, Comments 1 comment


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

1 Comment To This Article

  • Darci Shaver posted:

    on 4th November 2010, 11:20:37 - Reply

    Hmmm, we're new here and don't know the full back story on this (perhaps someone would KINDLY enlighten us), but it would seem that pubs larger than this shouldn't have to face the ban if the smaller ones won't.

    As someone who used to smoke and now has severe allergies to cigarette smoke (a very common occurance, btw), I won't be going into ANY of the pubs who allow smoking. Having had pneumonia here, shortly after arrival, simply walking along the streets has been quite hard...the smoke is EVERYWHERE.

    In fact, it seems odd to me that smaller pubs can have smoking, because although my guess is that the ban was put in place for the health of the workers, the health of clientele should be kept in view as well, and it is much harder to escape the wafts of smoke in a smaller establishment as opposed to a larger one.

    We are, quite frankly, appalled at the amount of smokers still in Europe. Yes, we know it is better than it used to be, but seriously, it's as if they haven't yet gotten wind of how devastating smoking is on personal and public health.

    And yet they are thought of as progressive in nature! Add this to the law against traditional medicines and herbs bound to be enacted in April, and I wonder if Europe isn't actually taking gigantic back leaps in history?!