Netherlands - smoking ban widely ignored - govt not sure how many bars have no employees..

December 25, 2010 - Some 50% of the country’s cafés and discotheques allow smoking, despite the ban for all except small, one-man operated bars, according to new figures from the food and safety inspectorate.

Since the government overturned the ban in small bars, more and more large cafes are allowing their customers to smoke.(Netherlands - smoking ban lifted in small cafes with no staff..) In June, inspectors found smoking in 28% of the bars they visited. That has now increased to 51%.

According to the Volkskrant (a national daily Dutch morning newspaper), the new government says around half of the country’s bars are smaller than 70 m2, meaning they are exempt from the ban, provided they do not employ staff. However, the Dutch catering association says the figure is closer to 25%.

Not only is there confusion about the size of bars, but bigger cafe owners say they are faced with unfair competition.

‘Since the government said it would soften the ban, the whole sector has been discussing it,’ Ben Francooy, chairman of catering workers’ union FNV Horecabond told the paper. ‘If you are going to make [the ban] more flexible, you open the door to fiddling the figures.’ In some places, cafe owners have an alarm light to alert each other if inspectors are spotted, Francooy said.

Reference: Smoking ban widely ignored, ashtrays are back in half the bars,, 12/24/2010.

Netherlands - related news briefs:
Netherlands - smoking ban lifted in small cafes with no staff..;
Netherlands - small pubs (bars) - one-man businesses smoking allowed..;
Netherlands - legislation to abolish smoking ban for small cafes/bars with no staff.. ;
Netherlands - bars defy two-year old smoking ban..;
Netherlands - small bars can continue to ignore smoking ban..;
Dutch government will change law to keep bars smoke free..;
Netherlands - lifted smoking ban for bars with no employees..;
Holland - smoking ban temporarily halted for smaller cafes run by their owners alone..;
Netherlands - spot checks on smoking in small cafes suspended temporarily..;
Dutch bar owners without staff when victory against smoking ban..;
Netherlands - Marijuana /Tobacco Cigarettes - Confusion..;
Netherlands - small bars/cafes with no staff could be exempt from smoking ban..;
Court spares small Dutch cafe over smoking ban..;
Netherlands - 1st court case for flouting smoking ban..;
Netherlands - ban on smoking in bars and restaurants NOT enforced..; Netherlands - ban on smoking in bars and restaurants NOT enforced..; Netherlands the smoking ban must be enforced - Ab Klink, Health Minister...;
Congratulations are in order: Netherlands, Romania & Alberta...
(Holland, Dutch)



December 26, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Now tell us, if smoking bans were as popular and were bringing in as much new business as the anti-smokers try to convince us, would anyone want to flout smoking bans?

Could it possibly be that it is because smoking bans are only popular with a very small minority of anti-smokers who want the whole world to cater to their olfactory preferences and could care less how many businesses and people they hurt in the process?