News of: Saturday, June 09 2007,

Smoking ban in the Netherlands from July 2008, but not in coffeeshops

The Dutch government has announced that smoking will be prohibited in all cafes, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels, starting July 1 2008.

Although especially the owners of pubs and clubs had hoped for a later date for the smoking ban, the government decided otherwise.

The ban will not apply to coffeeshops (the places to buy soft drugs). The part of the coffeeshops where the sale of soft drugs takes place will however have to be smoke-free.

It will also be possible to have special smoking zones, but serving drinks etc. will not be possible (to protect the employees from smoke). These zones must be closed off.

The ban applies to hotels, restaurants, and pubs, clubs, cafes etc.

Smoking in other workplaces had already been prohibited some years ago.