Smoking rooms in bars and restaurants in the Netherlands banned
The Dutch Court of Appeal in The Hague has decided to ban smoking rooms in restaurants and bars in the Netherlands. This decision comes as a result of the lawsuit put forward by Clean Air Nederland (CAN).
Breathing in smoke unavoidable at Dutch bars
In 2008, a ban on smoking in hospitality facilities, such as bars and restaurants, was implemented. However, an exception was made for areas which were specifically designated to smokers.
Whilst smoking rooms are kept separate, tobacco smoke unavoidably seeps out into smoking-free areas, meaning that non-smokers indirectly breathe in the smoke too. Employees at such establishments are also subject to breathing in the smoke, when they clean the rooms.
No more smoking rooms in the Netherlands
CAN has filed a lawsuit against smoking rooms, arguing that allowing such rooms or areas breaks the terms of an agreement with the World Health Organization regarding combatting tobacco exposure in indoor public places. The Court has ruled in favour of CAN; smoking rooms will therefore no longer be allowed in hospitality facilities.
The Court was concerned, amongst other things, about the social pressure that non-smokers may feel to join their friends in the smoking room, as there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.