Languages
Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:30 UK

German court rejects smoking bans

Smoker in Munich
Rules for smokers vary across Germany's 16 states

Germany's top court has ruled against smoking bans in small bars and clubs.

The Federal Constitutional Court upheld complaints against the bans in the city-state of Berlin and Baden-Wuerttemberg, in south-west Germany.

The two states are among 12 that introduced such bans at the start of the year. The court says they must now review their anti-smoking laws.

Smoking will now be allowed in one-room bars and clubs smaller than 75 sq m (807 sq ft), where no food is served.

The court gave Berlin and Baden-Wuerttemberg until the end of 2009 to draft new anti-smoking legislation.

Presiding judge Hans-Juergen Papier made it clear that German states could introduce blanket smoking bans in all public spaces if they so wished.

The complaint was brought by the owners of two small bars in Tuebingen and Berlin, who argued that the smoking ban was harming their business. They also said that, unlike larger premises, they had no space to create a separate smoking room.

The judge's ruling is seen as setting a legal precedent for Germany because most of the country's states have similar anti-smoking laws.

Bavaria has a total ban on smoking in bars and beer tents. In Saarland, smoking is allowed in small bars and larger ones that provide a separate smoking room.

The other states ban smoking in one-room bars but allow it in establishments that provide a separate smoking room.

Germany has a nationwide ban on smoking in government buildings.


SEE ALSO
Turkey expands curbs on smoking
19 May 08 |  Europe
Ban stubs out Italy tobacco sales
21 Jan 05 |  Business
Q&A: Passive smoking
18 Oct 04 |  Medical notes

RELATED BBC LINKS


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific