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More cafes observe smoking ban, but it's still far from total

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Some 57% of the Netherlands' bars and cafes now keep to the ban on smoking, compared with 51% in the spring, according to health ministry inspectors.

Some 61% of discos and 88% of cafes which serve food are now smoke free, the inspectors said.

Smoking is banned in all bars, cafes and restaurants with the exception of bars smaller than 70 m2 without personnel.

The Netherlands has come under fire from anti-smoking groups for its lax approach to upholding the ban.

Is smoking tolerated in your local? Share your experiences using the comment form below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Leave smokers alone. Drinking is bad for the liver, should we start closing bars too?

By Adam | 19 December 2012 3:36 PM

The smoking Ban is a complete Joke

It only takes one person to ask the bar staff which all ways says yes to start smoking in the bar.
Even though most bars I go to have a smoking area semi indoors so they dont get cold and wet.

No reason for it.

Should be a automatic fine for the bar and for each person smoking.

By MattG | 19 December 2012 4:25 PM

Either there has to be a total ban or no ban at all. Anything else in between just does not work.
If other countries can do it, why is the Netherlands such an exception?

By Cal | 19 December 2012 4:35 PM

No if anyone smokes in a local pub in Scotland UK, the owner could be fined and the bar closed for about 6 months, very strict in Scotland.

By almorr | 19 December 2012 7:00 PM

Let's extend the law and not allow smoking near exits/entrances and on terraces. On a beautiful day you can't sit outside on a terrace without inhaling secondhand smoke. Even if you sit at a table with small children, other guests don't think twice about lighting up right next to you. There's just no common courtesy! I have no issues with someone wanting to smoke, but non-smokers shouldn't be forced to smoke with them. Create designated areas and you'll make it less popular.

By NLer | 19 December 2012 7:07 PM

I hate this. 'Banned' means banned, but here it's 'tolerated'. The biggest surprise about moving here. I have to go to the centre of The Hague where it's mainly smoke-free, or just stay at home!

By James | 19 December 2012 9:10 PM

In a country that has a law for everything. I guess smoking bans are like speed limits - a good idea for other people but not for me to abide by, if it doesn't suit my needs.

By Peter in Limburg | 19 December 2012 10:00 PM

We just don't like being told what to do, enough is enough!

Yes yes & yes, a smoking area on the premises or the bar disappears, it's logic!

More rules, more stress, more problems - EUuuww, no thanks!

By The visitor | 19 December 2012 10:06 PM

No, smoking shouldn't be tolerated. Smokers are a burden on health care costs, it should be banned all indoor areas, it should be heavily fined (bar owner and smoker) and the insurance companies should start charging double to smokers..
btw drinking and smoking can not be compared since smokers also harm non-smokers while smoking..

By someone | 20 December 2012 9:55 AM

This is one of the things I like about the Dutch - if they think the law is stupid they ignore it.

The police also tell bars to allow smoking indoors - the noise from having drunk people outside & all the complaints is to much hassle for them

By Denhaag | 20 December 2012 9:56 AM

the government are just paying lip-service to those campigning for a cleaner and healthier environment for customers and workers in bars and restuarants. By turning a blind eye, not enforcing the ban and even constantly considering opt-out schemes, it makes a mockery of the law. Make the law and enforce it, or drop the law and make everyone suffer, don't make a law to make your political party look good to one group and not enforce it to appease the rest!

By Mazza B | 20 December 2012 10:27 AM

learn to cook at home.

more healthy , less cost , and no 2nd hand smoke.

By dork | 20 December 2012 12:36 PM

Freedom is the most important thing (for those who are not totally brainwashed).

By Sir Charles Moore | 20 December 2012 1:48 PM

Last weekend we went to three different cafés before finding one that was smoke free. In each of those cafés there was at least two smokers puffing away, when we complained the waiter shrugged, saying there was nothing he/she could do about it.

By Quince | 20 December 2012 2:45 PM

Freedom for WHOM, Sir Charles?

Why is a smoker's freedom more important than everyone else's? Why should non-smokers be forced to stay home? And why should pub employees be forced to submit to it?

Words of an addict...

By CW | 20 December 2012 4:12 PM

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get 10% discount on all orders use promo code 10-29326

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By Matthew Hammond | 20 December 2012 4:35 PM

Nanny state still profits from tax on tobacco (and alcohol)- until there is no benefit to the Treasury, it can never be seen as more than a halfhearted attempt.

By Peter | 20 December 2012 5:12 PM

@Adam:The second you figure out how to leave ME alone with your smoke is the same second I leave you alone for smoking next to me.

By Stupid | 20 December 2012 5:39 PM

Why do people have such a problem with allowing freedom of choice? Why 'total ban or no ban'?

A bar owner should be able to choose whether to cater to smoking or non-smoking clientele in the same way that coffeeshops had to choose 'booze or weed', in the same way a restaurant can choose vegitarian or non-vegitarian, etc.

If a bar chooses to stay non-smoking, the holier-than-thous have somewhere to go for a 'gezellig' time, and leave the smokers in a fume-filled peace in the other establishments.

Why is it so hard to live and let live?

By osita | 20 December 2012 5:51 PM

Tobacco smoke ruins dinners for us. We gave up going out for meals in NL many years ago.
We went to a disco once; it was fun, but my lungs were burning the next day, my hair and clothes all reeked of cigarette smoke. never went to a disco again.
The majority of people do not smoke; we should not be held hostage by those that do.

By Mark Holden | 20 December 2012 6:35 PM

Let's completely ban smoking and leave no resort to people that want to smoke and want to go to a bar or a cafe. Let's also ban cars because the fumes from their exhaust pipes kill. Why stop here? Let's ban gas stoves and anything else that releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Do not forget to ban cows for all that harmful methane-rich farting :)

By kakos | 20 December 2012 6:50 PM

When in the arduous process of becoming a smoke-free person, I vowed that I would not become a stereotypical "reformed smoker" and foist my reformation on others' freedoms. I have received criticisms from neither smokers nor non-smokers. How pleasant!

By Drawer 22 | 20 December 2012 7:36 PM

I don't smoke- however I don't seek to impose my lifestyle choices on other people. Therefore if I don't like what people are talking about, the way they look, their annoying poorly behaved children or their cancer promoting smoke I just leave and go somewhere else. A simple solution that requires no enforcement other than self regulation.

By joost | 20 December 2012 8:23 PM

@Mark Holden, the last time I was in a restaurant where smoking was allowed was years ago. Maybe there are a few exceptions, but I think nearly all restaurants respect the smoking ban. The problem are the pubs and clubs.

By pepe | 21 December 2012 4:18 PM

I read last week that the Netherlands is 12th in the WORLD for Cancer and 5th for women. The research suggests this is mostly smoke related. It amazes me to see so many young people ignoring these facts.

By Ciara | 21 December 2012 6:43 PM

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