Swiss voters reject stricter smoking restrictions, but ‘no’ is not ‘no’

| September 24, 2012

A proposal to ban special smokers’ lounges and bars has been thrown out by Swiss voters in a nationwide ballot, according to a story by Urs Geiser for Swissinfo.

The government welcomed Sunday’s result but vowed to continue anti-smoking efforts.

Two out of three voters rejected an initiative by the Lung League aimed at reducing the exposure of staff to second-hand smoke.

The proposal, supported by health organisations and centre-left parties, sought to tighten current minimum legislation which bans smoking in restaurants but allows cantonal authorities to grant exceptions.

Eighteen of Switzerland’s 26 cantons impose restrictions on tobacco smoking, while eight, mainly in the French-speaking part of the country, have imposed outright bans.

Interior Minister, Alain Berset, said protection against second-hand smoke remained high on the agenda of the government despite voters’ rejection of stricter nationwide legislation.

“Today’s ‘No’ is not a ‘No’ to second-hand smoke,” he told a news conference. Voters were just not willing to amend the law, less than three years after parliament agreed a compromise, he added.

Category: Breaking News

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