Netherlands - 1st court case for flouting smoking ban..

February 9, 2009 - AMSTERDAM - Dutch judges are closing a cafe for a month for allowing its patrons to smoke. It's the first case to be brought to court since smoking was banned in restaurants July 1, 2008. The court fined Brothers Gerhard and Ronald Sannes, owners of Cafe de Kachel in Groningen in the north of the country, euro1,200 ($1,535) after they ignored six warnings. The cafe had argued it was too small to provide a separate smoking area.

Small bars and cafes report business has fallen 30 percent since July. Many are reportedly defying the ban. Patrons and sympathizers marched Friday through Groningen to protest the legal action. Some draped themselves in the Dutch flag. The cafe put up notices before the hearing saying it would stay open 36 straight hours Friday and Saturday to mark the event.

Tougher penalties were introduced in October 2008, with inspectors given the power to issue on-the-spot fines of 300 euros for a first offence, followed by 600 euros for the second.

The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority said in a statement this month that about 2,500 of the country's 11,000 bars were flouting the smoking ban.

Less than a quarter of the Dutch population of 16.4 million are smokers.

Reference: Dutch court closes pub for defying smoking ban, Asociated Press - MSNBC, 2/6/2009; Bar owners face fine for flouting Dutch smoking ban, - Dutch News, 2/7/2009.

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February 10, 2009 at 6:47 AM

Dear Blogger,

We visited your blog and found it related to tobacco and India. You may have heard of the World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH), perhaps not but this time it’s important for us as the 14th WCTOH is being held in India.

During this conference policy makers from around the world will meet to decide the future of the tobacco industry. With reference to this we would be more than happy to have your opinion to put forth to them.

We are currently gathering opinions on behalf of Salaam Bombay Foundation (SBF) an NGO that has been working to help children of our country kick their nicotine addiction and preserve our countries future.

If you have something to say about Tobacco in India, it can be positive or negative. We will be more than happy to feature you on the site dedicated to this event on the Opinions page! We would be more than happy to put up a link to your site as well or profile.

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Clyde Fernandes