Dutch court stubs out smokers' corners in cafes

February 13, 2018

A Dutch court on Tuesday upheld an appeal by anti-cigarette campaigners and barred the use of public spaces in cafes and bars reserved for smokers.

Despite a general ban on smoking in restaurants, pubs and bars introduced in 2008, more than 25 percent of small cafes in the Netherlands still have an enclosed inside corner where patrons can legally light up, under an exception to the legislation.

But the court in The Hague found that such spaces were "in conflict" with the World Health Organization's to regulate tobacco use, which the Netherlands has signed and which entered into force in 2005.

"The banning smoking also cover smoking rooms," the court ruled, adding therefore the exception to the legislation was "invalid".

Under the loophole, cafes which are smaller than 70 square metres (753 square feet) were allowed to set aside a screened-off area for smokers behind floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

But it had to be less attractively decorated than the rest of the cafe, and no food or drink could be served inside.

Clean Air Netherlands (CAN), which had appealed after losing an earlier case in 2016, said it was "happy and satisfied" with Tuesday's outcome.

It said its mission was to strive for a smoke-free society by discouraging tobacco use.

"Smoking-rooms do not belong with this, therefore this is a small step in the right direction," it said on its website.

It was not immediately clear when the would be closed, as there could be a further appeal, Dutch media said.

The court also threw out CAN's claim that the ban covers all indoor public smoking spaces, saying it had not provided sufficient evidence.

Explore further: Dutch court stubs out plan to stop smokers' corner in cafes

Related Stories

Dutch court stubs out plan to stop smokers' corner in cafes

September 14, 2016
A Dutch court Wednesday threw out a case brought by anti-cigarette campaigners seeking to force the government to close down public spaces reserved for smokers in some cafes and bars.

Dutch activists seek to stub out smokers' corner in cafes

June 23, 2016
Dutch anti-cigarette campaigners Thursday launched a lawsuit against the government calling for an end to spaces reserved for smokers in cafes and bars.

Czechs a step away from smoking ban in bars, restaurants

January 19, 2017
The Czech Republic is one step away from losing its status of one of the last havens for tobacco smokers in Europe.

Czech Republic enforces smoking ban after years of debate

May 31, 2017
The Czech Republic on Wednesday enforced a smoking ban in bars, restaurants and cafes, putting to an end to the country's status as one of the last havens for tobacco smokers in Europe.

Austria falls in line with Europe to ban smoking in restaurants

April 10, 2015
Austria on Friday finally decided to ban smoking in cafes and restaurants from 2018 after years of debate in a country famed for its cafe culture.

Recommended for you

India launches 'Modicare', world's biggest health scheme

September 23, 2018
India on Sunday launched the world's biggest health insurance scheme which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said would cover some 500 million poor people.

It's not just for kids—even adults appear to benefit from a regular bedtime

September 21, 2018
Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But it's not just an issue of logging at least seven hours of Z's.

Patient-centered visual aid helps physicians discuss risks, treatments with parents

September 21, 2018
A series of illustrations and charts designed as decision aids for parents of children with minor head injuries helped them communicate with emergency medicine physicians and make informed decisions about their child's care, ...

Alcohol responsible for one in 20 deaths worldwide: WHO

September 21, 2018
Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year—more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.

Smart pills dumb down medical care, experts warn

September 21, 2018
Enthusiasm for an emerging digital health tool, the smart pill, is on the rise but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the American Journal of Bioethics that cautions health care ...

China's doctor shortage prompts rush for AI health care

September 20, 2018
Qu Jianguo, 64, had a futuristic medical visit in Shanghai as he put his wrist through an automated pulse-taking machine and received the result within two minutes on a mobile phone—without a doctor present.

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.