Health minister Ab Klink announced late last night in parliament that coffee shops, where cannabis can be sold legally, will not be threatened by the smoking ban which takes effect on July 1 2008, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.
‘If we want to stop our policy of toleration, we should just do so, and not use the ban as an excuse,’ he told MPs. However, despite the urging of Labour, centre-left D66 and the Green Left party, coffee shops will not be entirely exempt from the ban.
Klink insists that the counters where cannabis is sold must be smoke free. But as long as they are divided from the rest of the room, smoking on the premises will be allowed.
Klink also wants health insurers to include nicotine patches and courses on how to stop smoking in the basic health care package, according to the NOS news site. And he is also considering allowing insurers to offer people with a healthy lifestyle a lower premium.
The minister will present a full package of ideas for preventative healthcare after the summer recess.
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