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« Scrap the display ban says Tory MP | Main | Last night at the New Drovers »

Dutch smokers win partial reprieve

Interesting news from the Netherlands where reports suggest that the ban on smoking will be lifted in small bars that are run and therefore staffed by one-man businesses. According to Radio Netherlands:

Owners of small pubs in the Netherlands have welcomed the lifting of a smoking ban imposed on the hospitality industry in 2008. The partial scrapping of the measure was announced on Tuesday.

The incoming right-wing government is responding to persistent complaints from one-man businesses who argued that the smoking ban was meant to guarantee staff a smoke-free working environment. Since they had no employees, their small pubs didn't need the smoking ban, the owners claimed. The ban will remain in force, however, for pubs, restaurants and the like which are run with personnel.

Secretary Wiel Maessen of the 1250 small pubs' umbrella group KHO said "I lit an extra cigarette when I heard the news." He added that despite his satisfaction on behalf of his members, the fight would not be over until the ban was lifted for the entire sector.

Ton Wurtz, who runs the Dutch smokers’ group Stichting Rokersbelangen and has been working with Wiel Maessen, adds a word of caution, however, pointing out in an email to me that the political situation in the Netherlands remains unsettled and the country could face a new election very soon.

Nevertheless it shows what can be achieved if everyone works together. See Smoking ban on trial in The Hague and Demonstrators gather in The Hague.

Reader Comments (5)

That's sad news about Clarkson - even if it is four years old. Really doesn't seem like him at all. Perhaps just a mild dose of food-poisoning in the BBC canteen ?

At any rate, I can only trust that since that regrettable lapse he has - like Churchill before him - RE-ratted.

October 1, 2010 at 12:27 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

On Jeremy Clarkson January this year. Luke 15:7

"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."

"The worst thing about the smoking ban.

As we know, the ban on smoking in public places, and the misery of being forced to stand outside like a naughty dog every time you want a fag, has caused almost everyone to give up. This has had a profound knock-on effect on our social lives.

"The smoking ban, then, has had a devastating effect, not just on pubs and clubs — which are closing at the rate of one every four hours — but on society, which has now become divisive and bitter."

October 1, 2010 at 12:35 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Thanks, Dave -

Not sure about Heaven - but I'm rejoicing Down Here, right now !

As for you, Jeremy - leave those Moments of Madness to the Other Side, please: they might put a little colour into their monochrome souls.

October 1, 2010 at 16:29 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

If we see Jeremy in a suit and tie sporting a fake tan with gelled and styled hair and new sparkly white teeth and manicured hands, you'll know all is lost.
Thats the way reformed smokers go, they become more establishment than the establishment itself and if they happen to be popular celebs like Jeremy, when the ratings start slipping, they begin to look like Simon Cowell.
Jeremy lad you're showing your age when you became a conformist.
Soon you'll be pointing out the dangers of smoking to us.

October 2, 2010 at 16:11 | Unregistered Commenterann

I shall be very surprised if the Dutch election makes any difference to the new relaxation of the smoking ban in Holland.

John Gray

October 3, 2010 at 23:42 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Gray

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