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

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’.

 


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