The Dutch government vowed to change the law to keep bars smoke free after it suffered two successive defeats in court against bar owners challenging a smoking ban.
A cabinet statement said the government would introduce changes to legislation in order to make sure that "a uniform obligation" applied to all.
AdvertisementDutch bar owners won two victories earlier this year in their fight against a smoking ban on their premises.
Two different courts found that the law, aimed at protecting staff from second-hand smoke inhalation, unfairly discriminated against small, one-man operations that employed none.
Several thousand small bars and cafes in the Netherlands united late last year to defy the ban that entered into force in July 2008, creating a joint legal defense fund, arguing they lacked the floor space and money to erect separate smoking-only areas.
The cabinet said the planned changes would make allowances for the introduction of "innovative air sytstems" if they could be proven effective enough to be an alternative to a dedicated smoking area in small bars.