Court spares small Dutch cafe over smoking ban

April 3, 2009

A Dutch court on Friday rejected a bid by prosecutors to punish a small cafe for defying the smoking ban, arguing it was too small to be subject to the country's tough restrictions.

The Victoria cafe, in Breda, near the Belgian border, escaped prosecution demands for a 1,200-euro (1,600-dollar) fine and closure for a month, after the decided the prosecution was unjustified.

The cafe, run by its owner with no other employees, and others like it were suffering disproportionately from the , which came into effect in July 2008.

Several thousand small bars and cafes in the Netherlands united in late 2008 to flaunt the smoking ban and create a joint legal defense fund, arguing that they lacked the floorspace and money to erect separate smoking-only areas.

In its ruling, the court said it was likely that smokers would go to the bigger cafes that could afford separate smoking areas, which could lead to a big drop income for the smaller venues.

Prosecutors said they intend to appeal the acquittal.

Sixty-two percent of Dutch cafes saw a drop in business in October and November 2008, compared with a year earlier, on account of the smoking ban, according to a study by the Dutch health ministry.

In February, the owners of a cafe with no employees in the northern Dutch town of Groningen was fined 1,200 euros in the first-ever trial involving the smoking ban in the Netherlands.

(c) 2009 AFP

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.