I’m back from Berlin now, but thought you might want to catch up with part two of this summer’s German constitutional litigation over the smoking bans introduced by various Länder. You may recall that the bans in Baden-Württemberg and Berlin were ruled unconstitutional and must be applied with modifications pending legislative reform, because the scope of the exemptions was irrational and unfair; but that the Federal Constitutional Court reasoned that a complete smoking ban would have been lawful.
Well, Bavaria had enacted a total ban and unsurprisingly the challenge to it failed earlier in August. The court confirmed that a total ban was constitutional; the fact that beer and wine tents are temporarily exempted, until the end of this year (allowing smoking in tents during this Oktoberfest for instance), makes no substantial difference or bring in any element of irrationality or disproportion. It is still possible for bars in Bavaria to turn themselves into genuinely private smokers’ clubs – which will need to turn away passing trade – but this is open to everyone, so again that exemption, if it can be called that, does not create the kind of unfairness the Court saw in the details of the schemes laid down by Baden-Württemberg and Berlin.
According the the book “Fundamentals of Smoke free Workplace Laws” published by the tax exempt charities that sponsor the ban, page 7 through 10 explains that they can allow no exemptions. If that is the only way to get a ban passed, on the last page, they instruct their followers to lobby for exemptions to be removed one at a time for several years until all freedoms are gone. Here is the link. It’s LOTS of reading. http://www.no-
That link doesn’t work, I’m afraid, Anon.
Oops, sorry, it got cuhttp://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/CIA_Fundamentals.pdft off.
I guess you’re against smoking bans, Anon – from the way you talk about “freedoms” being “gone”: a lot of people think there is only freedom once smoking bans are in place!
You express a curious definition of freedom, Mr Legal. “Freedom means freedom to have what I want and all others can go hang.”
All that is needed is a legal requirement for a sign on every entrance door saying “smoking is permitted here” or “smoking is not permitted here”. Then there is freedom for all – freedom for the owners of the business to run it as they will and freedom for customers to decide whether the premises offer the environment they desire.
The old sayings exist for a reason, they express accumulated wisdom. “There’s nought as queer as folk”, “it takes all sorts to make a world”, “each to his own”, “suit yourself”, “it’s not my cup of tea” … all express tolerance for other people’s foibles. A preferable state of affairs, I would suggest, to one-size-fits-all puritanism.
See you in the non-smoking establishment next Monday. I’ll be the fat one popping outside from time to time to have a ciggy with Mr Charon.
(PS the deleted comment above was mine, I committed the offence of typo)
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) causes disease in non-smokers. Workplace bans on smoking are interventions to reduce exposure to ETS to try to prevent harmful health effects. The Irish Government on the 29th March 2004 introduced the first national comprehensive legislation banning smoking in all workplaces including bars and restaurants. http://www.chantixhome.com/
There is now a new quit smoking drug available in the market. This latest breakthrough is known as Chantix. It is able to help smokers snub out their addiction by working on the brain.