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

Explore further: Avoid the hookah and save your teeth

Related Stories

Avoid the hookah and save your teeth

November 8, 2005

Researchers say smoking a hookah is becoming increasingly trendy item in Mediterranean restaurants, cafes and bars -- but it can damage your teeth.

Study: Smoking bans reduce smoking

August 22, 2007

A Canadian study has determined smoking bans result in smokers either quitting or reducing their cigarette consumption.

Retail tobacco displays make it tougher to quit

February 7, 2008

Tobacco advertising displays may be undermining smokers' attempts to give up and tempting former smokers to resume smoking, research by Professor of Marketing Janet Hoek has found.

Bar workers who smoke also benefit from smoking ban

February 10, 2009

The health of bar workers, who actively smoke cigarettes, significantly improves after the introduction of a smoking ban, reveals research published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

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.