Cafe owner wins smoking ban case

The owner of a small cafe in Breda has been found not guilty of breaking the ban on smoking, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

The court in Breda said the smoking ban treated the owners of cafes with and without additional personnel differently.
Cafe owners with additional staff had to ensure that workers had a smoke-free working environment, the judges said. This could be achieved, for example, by a ventilation system, the Telegraaf quoted the judges as saying.
By contrast, cafes without personnel have to completely ban smoking on the premises, the judges said.
In addition, bars without other staff are being harder hit by the financial effects of the ban, the Telegraaf reported the judges as saying.
The public prosecution office had demanded the owner of the Victoria cafe be fined €12,000 for allowing smoking on the premises.
Store room
The court ruling is the second to undermine the principle of the ban in two days. On Thursday health minister Ab Klink was forced to admit that a bar in Groningen has managed to get around the ban legally.
The bar owner has moved the bar itself to a small store room and designated the rest of the space as the smoking area.
Cafes are allowed to set up a sealed-off smoking area, as long as bar staff are kept out of the smoke.
The ban on smoking in cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels was introduced last July, despite fierce resistance from the hospitality industry.
Is the ban unfair on small cafes? Use the comment form to have your say.

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