After all the whining and complaining about banning smoking in Dutch establishments in the media (you can still see people being interviewed smoke on TV), some 70% of hotels, restaurants and cafes plan to ban smoking in their establishments on 1 January 2008. This is surprising since the actual ban is set for 1 July 2008. According to a spokesperson of the Royal Dutch catering and hospitality organisation, implementing the ban on 1 January has psychological reasons. “Many people start their resolutions on New Year’s Day, which often includes giving up smoking.” In fact, about three quarters of Dutch hotels have had smoking bans since 2006.
And then there’s the discussion about an exception to the ban for ‘coffeeshops’, which in Dutch refers to cafes that sell weed and hasch, since the whole point is to go there and smoke.
Tell us what you think. And Happy New Year!