VPRO television appeals against €600 smoking fine

The VPRO public broadcaster is appealing against a €600 fine for allowing a television chat show guest to smoke.

Comedian Hans Teeuwen smoked during a three-hour one-to-one interview in the Zomergasten series at the end of July, which health and safety inspectors say breaks a ban on smoking in the workplace.

Smokers have disappeared from the television screens and Teeuwen’s actions caused considerable comment at the time.

The VPRO says it is appealing against the fine because ‘the inspectors did not actually confirm Hans Teeuwen was smoking, live, in the studio.’ The fine ‘is based on television footage, or rather, complaints from viewers,’ programme editor Peter van Ingen said.

Teeuwen said after the broadcast he lit the cigarette out of habit. ‘Starting smoking is the stupidest thing I have ever done,’ he told the NRC.

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