A third of bars violate smoking ban

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It’s been five years since the Netherlands banned smoking in public, but reports say that in five percent of cafes in the country patrons are still allowed to puff away.

The Food and Products Authority NVWA said in its report that many cafes still keep ashtrays on their tables. While the statistics paint a disturbing picture of businesses that structurally defy the ban on smoking, NVWA has said it is satisfied because the figures still show a general drop in the number of smokers. Antismoking club Clean Air says however there is cause for worry and that Government is partially to blame for the problem; cafes and bars violate the ban because it seems to have become Government policy to still tolerate smoking in the entertainment sector. Elsevier quoted a bar owner in Amsterdam who said that in the five years of the smoking ban he has not once seen anybody from Government who came to carry out an inspection. A bar owner in Brabant said he initially followed the ban, but followed when fellow bar owners in the area started allowing smoking again. “And actually a cloud of smoke just sort of belongs in a bar,” he said.