Report: Smoking ban unlikely for cafe terraces

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It seems unlikely that the smoking ban will be extended to also include terraces in the near future. Many political parties are either opposed to the idea, or find it premature to implement at this stage.

This according to a survey Elsevier did among factions in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, that are involved in this area.

Ruling party VVD is against extending the smoking ban. According to parliamentarian Erik Ziengs, the cafe and bar owners have already made a large contribution to the discouragement of smoking, often at expense to their own revenue. "With the introduction of the smoking ban people were told that they may no longer smoke inside, but may still light a cigarette in the great outdoors. From the VVD side that will remain the case." He went on to call the idea of banning smoking on terraces "patronizing, absurd and ineffective".

ChristenUnie, a known supporter of the smoking ban, thinks it is too early to try and implement it on terraces. The topic is "extremely popular in society", but currently there is "insufficient support in politics", parliamentarian Carla Dik-Faber said to Elsevier. "I can imagine that terraces will be smoke-free at some point. However, this moment is too early. Political decisions must be consistent with developments in society."

Other parties believe that the decision should be left up to the bar and cafe owners themselves. SP parliamentarian wants to discourage smoking in general by restricting the sale of tobacco to only specialist tobacco shops. CDA parliamentarian Hanke Bruins Slot stressed that smoking on terraces is smoking in the outside air, which is allowed.