Government explains its stance on passive smoking

The government has confirmed in a message to parliament its rejection of a people’s initiative on the protection of passive smoking.

This content was published on March 11, 2011 - 14:11

A statement on Friday said that since a new federal law came into force on the issue at a national level in May, 2010 it was not putting forward a counter-proposal.

The government statement admitted that current legislation had some loopholes concerning staff in bars and restaurants but it protected the majority of employees.

The initiative, backed by an alliance of about 50 health organisations, has argued that current legislation does not go far enough. In particular, it argues that service staff in restaurants with fumoirs are subjected to high levels of smoke.

In effect, the initiative wants a complete smoking ban in cafes and restaurants.

At present, smoking is not allowed in public spaces, including schools, hospitals and shopping centres, across the country.

But there are exceptions. Bars and restaurants may set up staffed smoking rooms with ventilation, and smaller ones up to an area of 80 square metres can remain open for smokers.

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