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Bavaria Lawmakers Relax Anti-Tobacco Law

by VR Sreeraman on July 16, 2009 at 12:53 PM
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Bavaria Lawmakers Relax Anti-Tobacco Law

Smokers can light up cigarettes in more places in Germany's Bavaria, including under the tents of Munich's beer bash Oktoberfest, after state lawmakers Wednesday relaxed an anti-tobacco law.

A year after banning smoking in most restaurants, bars and discotheques, the Bavarian legislature decided to allow smoking in corner cafes that are too small to have separate non-smoking and smoking areas.

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Likewise, a bigger establishment with enough space could offer customers a separate smoking room.

The vote by the legislature in the southern German state followed a Constitutional Court ruling that anti-tobacco laws in force since January 2008 in 14 of Germany's 18 states discriminated against owners of one-room establishments.
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Commentators have said Bavaria's strict anti-tobacco law may have contributed to the unpopularity of regional politicians and the historic election defeat last September of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

The CSU lost its absolute majority for the first time in 46 years.

Source: AFP
LIN
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