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Germany

Parliamentarians Support Smoking Ban

A coalition of parliamentarians in the German Bundestag would like the country to put smoking bans in place along the lines of those in Italy, Ireland and Norway, according to news reports. A proponent of a ban, Social Democratic health expert Marlies Volkmer, a smoking prohibition should apply to public buildings as well as restaurants. "We have a duty to protect non-smokers and restaurant employees," she said. The drug commissioner for the conservative opposition, Gerlinda Kaupa, has also come out in favor of limiting smoking in public places. She said the government's efforts up to now, which include voluntary commitments from hotels and restaurants to establish no smoking areas, did not go far enough. In January, Italy instituted a strict ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. In 2004, Ireland and Norway put similar prohibitions in place.

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