Smoking ban discontinued in Rhineland-Palatinate

Smokers can now light up in small bars in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate after a court partially overturned the state’s smoking ban.

The owners of five small bars had pleaded in a constitutional court that their establishments were too small to be able to offer a smoking room, thus, the smoking ban could result in “severe economic disadvantages.”

The bar owners based their appeal on a claim that at least 80 percent of their regular clientele are smokers. The court accepted their argument, ruling that one room bars with no employees are exempt from the smoking ban. The court determined that such establishments must clearly show that smoking is allowed on their premises. The judge explained that way non-smokers could decide for themselves whether or not they wish to patronize the bar.

The court has not yet reached a decision on the constitutional aspect of the case. According to a spokesperson from the court, the timing for the final decision as to the constitutionality of the ban is not yet decided.