Smokers in eight of the 16 German states
were taking a final, New Year's Eve puff Monday before a partial ban on
smoking in restaurants and bars went into effect at midnight.
The ban, in step with France's prohibition of bistro smoking from
January 1, has angered many Germans, who have denounced it as an
invasion of their personal liberty.
The exact terms differ from state to state. Most allow premises to maintain separate bars for smokers.
In effect, the new rules only require a main smoke-free area in bars and restaurants.
While most city hotels have enough space to segregate smokers in
separate bars, smaller premises which cannot be partitioned will have
to ask smokers to step outside.
The rules have been largely
respected in the three German states that applied bans back in August
and October. Five more states have yet to act, with the last two set to
legislate bans by July 2008.
The federal government has no
authority over the catering trade, but has egged the 16 states to agree
among themselves on a coordinated smoking ban in the whole nation.
Bavaria has been the strictest of the eight starting with a ban on
Tuesday. It will not permit separate smoking bars, and smoking is also
being prohibited in beer tents at the annual Oktoberfest and other
The other seven states beginning the ban in
the new year are Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg West
Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein.
are collecting funds to mount a legal challenge against the bans before
Germany's federal constitutional court, alleging a breach of basic
The federal government used its powers over transport
to ban smoking from September 1, 2007 in taxis, on buses, on trains and
in planes anywhere in Germany. (source)
More of Hitler's old Nazi rules being forced on Germans again…..
If the Germans can have separate smoking rooms, we want them too….