Cafes and bars will have to close their special smoking rooms, which they set up when the ban on smoking was introduced in 2008, appeal court judges in The Hague said on Tuesday.
The case was brought by Clean Air Nederland which argued that by allowing special smoking rooms, the Netherlands was breaking the terms of an agreement with the World Health Organisation.
In that agreement, the Netherlands said it would take steps to stop people being exposed to tobacco in ‘indoor public places’. The court has now ruled this also applies to smoking rooms in cafes and bars.
The court said that non-smokers could feel social pressure to join smokers in the smoking areas. In addition, smoke unavoidably escapes from the rooms and that cafe staff who have to clean them also become exposed to tobacco.
‘This is dangerous, because it has been established that there is no safe level for exposure to tobacco smoke,’ the court said in its ruling.
The court did reject part of the case in which CAN argued for a ban on smoking rooms in other public buildings, saying it had not provided enough evidence.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.