Bar, restaurant smoking ban delayed until 2009
2 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government and the hotel and catering sector have agreed that no general smoking ban will be imposed on bars, cafes or restaurants until 2009, but smoking will be discouraged as of next year.
The four-year plan agreed by the Health Ministry and the branch organisation KHN states that at the end of 2008, all restaurants and 75 percent of bars and nightclubs must have a smoke-free zone.
At least 95 percent of hotels must also have smoke-free rooms and smoke-free breakfast halls. And from the end of 2008, all ice cream shops and 50 percent of snack bars must be smoke-free, Dutch public news service NOS reported on Thursday.
The sale of tobacco will be banned at 75 percent of companies in the hotel and catering sector. But cafés and snack bars will still be able to sell tobacco because they operate at night.
The Clean Air Nederland foundation has urged Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst to reject the plan. The minister has previously said he would only agree to a plan that imposed a 100 percent smoke-free policy on the hotel and catering industry, news agency ANP reported.
Legislation paving the way for a smoke-free workplace came into force at the start of this year, but the hotel and catering sector was given a reprieve. Nursing homes were also given a respite until the end of this year. Residents will be forced to smoke in special rooms starting from 2005.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news