Health minister Edith Schippers is to do ‘all she can’ to make sure larger bars and cafes comply with the ban on smoking, she told MPs on Wednesday.
One option is to increase the fines, which currently vary between €300 and €2,400, the minister said.
The new government has already lifted the ban for cafes smaller than 70 m2 with no personnel.
But research indicates around half of the country’s bars, cafes and night clubs now allow smoking. And MPs have called on the minister to clamp down on law breaking.
Schippers said she is not in favour of making breaking the ban a criminal offence and involving the police because it would be too expensive and generate too much resentment within the industry.
Nor does she back the setting up of a phone line where people can report cafes and bars which break the law.
The minister did say she would look at bringing in a ban on smoking in school playgrounds. Only one in three schools have banned smoking.
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