Did you hear?... New Bavarian smoking ban means first smoke-free Munich, winter ispo

One of the German states that has dragged its feet the longest on a smoking ban in public places will enact as of Jan. 1, 2008, the country's strictest no-smoking law.
Publish date:
Social count:
One of the German states that has dragged its feet the longest on a smoking ban in public places will enact as of Jan. 1, 2008, the country's strictest no-smoking law.

One of the German states that has dragged its feet the longest on a smoking ban in public places will enact as of Jan. 1, 2008, the country's strictest no-smoking law.

In Bavaria, where the ispo trade show takes places in the state capital of Munich, the parliament approved a prohibition for puffing tobacco in all bars, restaurants, beer tents (auf Wiedersehen smoking in Oktoberfest tents), dance halls and public buildings. The law is so strict that, in contrast to some others that allow smoking rooms in restaurants, there is no allowance for a smoking room or for a restaurant or bar to become a so-called club that could allow smoking.

In fact, all across Germany, one of the last bastions for smokers in Europe and a country that has fought the hardest against no-smoking rules, each of the 16 states will have some kind of no-smoking regulations sometime this year. Already, eight states do. Some of those that will go into effect this year won't be strongly enforced immediately. And a coalition of restaurant and bar owners have already filed suit on the last business day before Christmas challenging the new law as an assault on their businesses.

In 2004, Ireland was the first European country to pass a law prohibiting smoking in workplaces, including bars, pubs and restaurants. Other countries followed suit, including Italy, Norway, Malta, Finland, the United Kingdom, Italy and, also as of Jan. 1, France. In Germany, the federal government had left the decision up to individual states, which resulted in a patchwork of smoking and no smoking countrywide.

The limits are part of the European Union's public health plan initiated in 1985. In France and Germany, more than 200,000 people die each year from tobacco. About a quarter of Germans, or more than 20 million people, smoke, according to the federal drug commissioner's website. About 140,000 people there die each year from the habit. Germans bought 94.1 billion cigarettes in 2006, 34 percent less than in 2001, according to Euromonitor International Plc, a U.K.-based market research company. France has 14 million smokers, or 22 percent of its population. About 72,000 deaths there are linked to smoking annually.

"Maybe we're a bit stupid with our traditions," David Droulez, head of the French Friends of Pleasure and Taste Association in Paris, told Bloomberg news service, "but we have the right to be as such and I cannot stand the idea of a hygienic, clean, and sorry to say 'American style' society.''

SNEWS® View: We have found increasingly great pleasure from smoke-free dining and night-clubbing in restaurants and public places in some European countries during travels in the last year or two. Although the ispo show approved a smoking ban starting in 2006 -- albeit a not strongly enforced one -- attending the show in Munich still meant being forced to breathe smoke-filled air at special events, some show areas, and in restaurants and other city gathering spots. With a government law in place, the show may need to look at larger signs and better enforcement of the regulations, and attendees won't have to search for the few non-smoking eateries in town. We are ecstatic about the countrywide progress. If that's "American-style," we're quite happy to claim it. We believe tens of thousands of people who may not die because of it will be pretty happy too.


Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Technogym has been chosen as the exclusive supplier of fitness equipment for the Athens Olympics by the Greek Olympic Committee. On the grounds of the Olympic Village will be set up 11 gyms with more than 300 pieces of equipment that more than 10,000 athletes from 200 ...read more

Outdoor: Did you hear?...

>> Wild Country, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has issued a recall for approximately 1,000 Helium carabiners sold under the following model names -- Helium Dyneema, Helium DYN QD 5 X 13, Helium Clean Wire, and Oxygen-Helium. They are marked with ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

For the week of June 14-20>> Been wondering what's up with the bankruptcy liquidation of The Fitness Experience, including its non-filings of federally required statements and forms? Well,… nothing. There has been no action in the court since May 20, and TFE still hasn't complied ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Retail executives are expressing optimism for the coming year, according to a January survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF). The latest findings from the NRF Executive Opinion Survey, a monthly index by the NRF, shows a "renewed sense optimism and hope." The Retail ...read more

Outdoor: Did you hear?…

For the week of March 8-14>> One new technical apparel company, Westcomb, from Vancouver, British Columbia, showed up at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, holing up in a small room in the Marriot and enticing buyers and media to come take a look-see (we didn't mention the company ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> efi Sports Medicine is expanding its Gravity Training System quickly, including clubs in Australia and Europe. This month, it will debut at the Rimini Fitness Festival in Italy. >> The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has announced it has entered a strategic marketing ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Some fitness manufacturers are on the frontlines … literally … as their treadmills, bikes, weights and gyms end up in the Middle East for soldiers' workouts when they're off-duty. In fact, now the government is apparently setting up entire gyms in large tents in the desert, ...read more