Half of cafes still allow smoking

Nearly half of Dutch cafes and bars still allow customers to smoke on their premises, according to figures released on Tuesday by the food safety authority NVWA.

Despite an official ban for most of the hospitality sector, customers are still allowed to smoke in 49% of bars and cafes, around the same amount as last year.
Discotheques are doing better. In 2011, 60% were smoke-free. The figure has now risen to 66%.
The NVWA carried out 8,420 inspections between January and May this year. In 942 cases they found the smoking ban was being flouted. Fines were imposed in 762 cases. The other cafes and bars were given a written warning and can expect a further inspection.
The smoking ban for cafes, bars and restaurants was introduced in July 2004. Following opposition by small cafe owners, the present government exempted small cafes without staff from the ban in 2010.

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