Wednesday 01 February 2023

Smoking to be banned in all cafes and bars as MPs vote for change

Legislation to ban smoking in all cafes and bars was narrowly passed in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday evening.

Currently, cafes and bars smaller than 70 square metres and which are run by their owners are exempt from the ban, which was introduced to protect staff from the risk of second-hand smoke.

However, junior health minster Martin van Rijn has pledged to close the loophole.


The Socialist party, anti-immigration PVV and the ruling VVD voted against the amendment, which was passed by 76 votes to 70. The new law still has to be voted on by the senate, but is likely to pass there as well.

The ban, brought in six years ago, is widely flouted in bigger bars, cafes and nightclubs as well.

Figures last year show over half the Netherlands’ bars and cafes now keep to the ban on smoking. Some 61% of discos and 88% of cafes which serve food are smoke-free, according to health ministry inspectors.

Van Rijn hopes to introduce the change this year, perhaps by October, he said earlier.

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