Upper house of German parliament wants concrete rules on smooking rooms

The upper house of German parliament is dissatisfied with a formulation in a draft by the German government according to which rooms for smokers may be set up, „if a sufficient number of rooms are available«. The upper house of German parliament demands a stipulation according to which such rooms must not pose any dangers to the health of third persons. Such obligations, however, would entail a considerable amount of additional costs in particular to the hotel and restaurant industry in terms of structural measures, expert opinions and administrative burdens.

In addition the upper house wants to have examined whether the jurisdiction in the case of an infringement on a protective law for non-smokers could be assigned to a Federal authority.

The Federal government plans to introduce a general ban on smoking in all public institutions, in means of public transport including taxicabs and at train stations. The ban also applies to workspaces used by just one person. The extension of the law´s scope of application to workrooms exclusively used by smooking employees themselves could become a worry to personnel officers, if the employee in question ignored the ban. The law is to take effect on September 1st 2007.

Furthermore, in order to protect adolescents the age from which tobacco products may be sold to them and from which they may smoke in public is raised from 16 to 18. The providers of cigarette vending machines have to adapt to this by July 1st 2009. GERMAN