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07-07-2010, 23:00
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http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PWOsh5tJhjM/TDT3hYwBFhI/AAAAAAAACco/KhfYBjJJ0iQ/s320/rauchja.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PWOsh5tJhjM/TDT3hYwBFhI/AAAAAAAACco/KhfYBjJJ0iQ/s1600/rauchja.jpg)In a referendum on Sunday, Bavarian voters ended the dithering and doubt about smoking in their state with a decisive "yes" to banning it completely in in all public buildings. The previous strict law had been weakened by political in fighting and dubious avoidance by some pubs, as well as single room exceptions. All these have been swept away.

Over three million voters participated in the referendum, with 61 percent voting in favour of the ban. The citizens' initiative "for real protection of non-smokers" will impose a total smoking ban on all clubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and beer tents from 1st August.

As someone who goes to Bavaria a lot, I welcome this and look forward even more to my trip later this year. Whether it will be welcomed quite as much in the filthy "Raucherclubs" is a different matter, but the state has already said it will enforce the law from day one. The sting in the tail is that the Association of Private Breweries announced that it will mean price rises
due to the cost of enforcement, particularly in beer tents. "The citizen must pay for it through higher beer and food prices" they said.

It seems though this year's Oktoberfest will be exempt and smoking will be allowed for the last time.
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