Smoking slowly dying off in Dutch bars

15 May 2014, by

The smoking ban for bars and restaurants put in place in 2010 and tightened further in 2012 is finally having an effect.

Preliminary figures from the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) released by the Dutch government show that in the first months of 2014, 75 per cent of cafés and bars were smoke free.

That is an increase of 10 per cent from the autumn of 2013.

Enforcing the smoking ban

In March 2013, State Secretary Martin van Rijn from the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport announced that the smoking ban would be reinstated in July 2014.

This will plug the gap in the legislation that allowed small cafés run by their owners to permit smoking provided there are no staff to be affected.

The intention is to only permit smoking in separate sealed-off areas without table service.

Speaking about the figures, Van Rijn warned that despite the improvement, there was still a long way to go before the ban is respected everywhere.

Lack of full compliance

The bill for the smoking ban is now before Parliament, and Van Rijn says that once it has passed it will provide more clarity.

While he hopes that it will lead to no more smoking in bars, he admits that he cannot say it will never happen. Nonetheless, the NVWA will continue to have extra capacity to check on venues for compliance.

Smoking in bars in the Netherlands

He admitted that smoking "is a persistent phenomenon in our society" and suggested that compliance figures may be disappointing for some time. Figures from 2013 showed that smoking is on the rise in Amsterdam and has been for the previous five years.

Banning tobacco sales to under-18s

Another restriction on tobacco in the Netherlands was one of the changes in legislation that came in on January 1 this year: a ban on tobacco sales to people younger than 18.

Vendors who sell tobacco to underage patrons now face penalties: if they are caught three times in one year, they will be banned from selling tobacco for at least a week.

Each year, nearly 20.000 Dutch people die due to smoking-related diseases related, including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and vascular diseases.

Source: Government of the Netherlands

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Comments arranged by date (Total 1 comments)  
May 15 2014, 02:38AM

Each year, nearly 20.000 Dutch people die due to smoking-related diseases related, including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and vascular diseases.

Judge doesnt accept statistical studies as proof of LC causation!

It was McTear V Imperial Tobacco. Here is the URL for both my summary and the Judge’s ‘opinion’ (aka ‘decision’):

(2.14) Prof Sir Richard Doll, Mr Gareth Davies (CEO of ITL). Prof James Friend and
Prof Gerad Hastings gave oral evidence at a meeting of the Health Committee in
2000. This event was brought up during the present action as putative evidence that
ITL had admitted that smoking caused various diseases. Although this section is quite
long and detailed, I think that we can miss it out. Essentially, for various reasons, Doll
said that ITL admitted it, but Davies said that ITL had only agreed that smoking might
cause diseases, but ITL did not know. ITL did not contest the public health messages.
(2.62) ITL then had the chance to tell the Judge about what it did when the suspicion
arose of a connection between lung cancer and smoking. Researchers had attempted
to cause lung cancer in animals from tobacco smoke, without success. It was right,
therefore, for ITL to ‘withhold judgement’ as to whether or not tobacco smoke caused
lung cancer.

[9.10] In any event, the pursuer has failed to prove individual causation.
Epidemiology cannot be used to establish causation in any individual case, and the
use of statistics applicable to the general population to determine the likelihood of
causation in an individual is fallacious. Given that there are possible causes of lung
cancer other than cigarette smoking, and given that lung cancer can occur in a nonsmoker,
it is not possible to determine in any individual case whether but for an
individual’s cigarette smoking he probably would not have contracted lung cancer
(paras.[6.172] to [6.185]).
[9.11] In any event there was no lack of reasonable care on the part of ITL at any
point at which Mr McTear consumed their products, and the pursuer’s negligence
case fails. There is no breach of a duty of care on the part of a manufacturer, if a
consumer of the manufacturer’s product is harmed by the product, but the consumer
knew of the product’s potential for causing harm prior to consumption of it. The
individual is well enough served if he is given such information as a normally
intelligent person would include in his assessment of how he wishes to conduct his
life, thus putting him in the position of making an informed choice (paras.[7.167] to

About the Author
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Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in A...

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