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MPs say yes to extending smoking ban to all cafes and bars

Tuesday 12 February 2013

A small majority of MPs voted on Tuesday afternoon for a motion to reinstate a complete ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes.

Small bars and cafes run by their owners have been exempt since the ban was relaxed in 2010 by the previous government.

However, the ban, brought in nearly five years ago, is widely flouted in bigger bars, cafes and nightclubs.

Although the previous cabinet of social liberal VVD and Christian Democrats, with support from the anti-immigration PVV, relaxed the ban, the CDA has since had a change of heart.

Their MPs, together with those of Labour - currently in coalition with the VVD - D66, GroenLinks, the christian fundamentalist SGP and the animal welfare party all voted for a total ban.

The VVD, Socialists, PVV and 50Plus voted against, saying owners of small bars and cafes are quite capable of deciding whether or not customers should be allowed to smoke on their premises.

The government must now decide what to do with the motion. Junior health minister Martin van Rijn said last month he is working on a 'broad package of prevention'.


© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

So pleased that I will finally be able to go into any bar I choose and spend some quality time with friends, listen to good music and enjoy some nice drinks without having my eyes watering, my throat drying up and my lungs screaming for fresh air. Not to mention actually being able to leave and not have my hair and clothes stink like an ashtray. Thanks to the sensible MP's for finally removing this idiotic and much abused loophol.

By Brian Beuken | 12 February 2013 6:48 PM

Good to see the Dutch government taking care of us. Now they should show some leadership and ban automobiles. The fumes emitted from cars is much worse that cigarette smoke.

By Bobke | 12 February 2013 7:45 PM

It's a great idea because when you eat, you want to enjoy your food, you don't want to be breathing in secondhand smoke.

The only problem, as I see it, is that for diners who are not able to smoke within an establishment, they are going to go outside and smoke in the open air. This is very bad for passers-by, especially pregnant ones (like me!).

I know this is wishful thinking, but I wish someone would just ban smoking, fullstop!!

By poeliewoepsie | 12 February 2013 8:54 PM

A step in the right direction. Very happy to hear this! Time for Holland to come into the 21st century and think about the health risks to all!

By M | 12 February 2013 9:06 PM

At last the Netherlands will become a civilised country and we needn't put up any longer with passive smoking or having to avoid certain bars, cafes or restaurants. Let's be sure to enforce it properly, with fines for non-compliance.

By Jimmy Waffer | 12 February 2013 9:56 PM

I don’t believe it; even though Lung cancer 'overtaking breast cancer in European women'

By Terence Hale | 13 February 2013 12:35 PM

Why are people commenting about restaurants? Restaurants were never exempt from the smoking ban. And unlike pubs and clubs there was never really a problem with people still smoking in restaurants.

By pepe | 13 February 2013 4:21 PM

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