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Court rules that exemption from smoking ban for small Dutch cafes is “unlawful”

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2123 (Published 03 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2123
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

An exception to the smoking ban in the Netherlands allowing people to light up in small cafes is unlawful, according to a landmark legal ruling by the appeal court in The Hague. The court ruled that, as a signatory to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Dutch government must act to prevent smoking in all cafes.

Tobacco control experts have dubbed this the “final word” and argue that any delay would be a “disaster” for public health. Last year, in the wake of the relaxation of the ban, the smoking rate increased from 25% to 26%.

In 2011 …

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