News of: Friday, September 27 2019,
The legal exception of special 'smoke rooms' in bars and restaurants, where customers may smoke, has today been nullified by the highest Dutch Court of Justice.
The smoking ban in the Netherlands took effect in 2008. At that time, an exception was made for special 'smoke rooms'. A smoke room is a room where customers can withdraw to have a smoke, but they are not served there, as staff are not to be in contact with cigarette smoke.
The existence of these rooms has now been labelled as unlawful by the Court of Justice. THe smoke rooms are in violation of a treaty against smoking at the World Health Organization, to which the Netherlands is a party.
This means that, in principle, the rooms have to be closed immediately.
However, the government has already indicated they will not enforce the new situation. This may apparently take until mid October or so.
Painting by Vincent van Gogh