Smoking U-turn in Holland

Holland has become the first country in Europe to overturn, at least partially, the blanket ban on smoking in bars and cafes.

The coalition government has allowed the partial lifting of the ban for pubs which are less than 743.5 sq ft in size and which are staffed solely by the owner, that’s about 2,000 pubs in total.

The new law will allow consumer choice, with signs informing customers whether or not they are allowed to smoke on the premises. The government has also cancelled 280 fines related to the ban and the Dutch Health Minister Edith Schippers has promised that impromptu smoking checks by food and consumer safety inspectors would now be stopped.

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