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Legal loophole sees hundreds of Dutch cafes escape smoking ban

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2824 (Published 13 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2824
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

    The smoking ban in Dutch cafes and restaurants has been partially suspended after a second appeal court ruled that the law does not apply to small cafes that do not employ staff.

    Consequently, the health minister Ab Klink has temporarily halted enforcement of the smoking ban on possibly thousands of these smaller cafes run by their owners alone. Checks and fines imposed by the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority will cease until the law is changed, in what is seen as a public health “disaster.”

    The law remains in force for larger cafes that employ staff.

    Mr Klink plans to amend the …

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