Last gasp for beer fest? Munich votes on smoking ban
Tuesday 06 July 2010
The world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich looked set to be smoke-free in future after initial results from a referendum showed support for a total smoking ban in the southern German state.
With ballots counted in 23 of Bavaria's 96 districts, the anti-smoking camp had 60.3 percent of the vote against 39.7 who wanted to keep it legal to puff away. A simple majority needed for victory.
If final results show that the majority of the 9.4 million eligible voters want tougher new rules, smoking will be banned in all pubs, restaurants and beer tents, without exception.
If the proposed rule change is rejected, the existing laws will remain in force, under which smokers are allowed to light up in beer tents and pubs with special smoking rooms.
The referendum has sparked a furious debate, with those in favour of a total ban arguing on emotive health grounds and those against putting forward arguments about freedom of choice.
Those in favour of stamping out smoking hope a ban in Bavaria will lead to stricter rules across the country where various loopholes in smoking legislation have led to existing rules being only weakly enforced.
Smokers heading for this year's 200th anniversary of the beer-guzzling Oktoberfest should not necessarily leave their cigarettes at home, however.
According to local media, authorities have already announced any potential ban would not be in force for this year's festival, which last year attracted 5.7 million visitors from all around the world.
Life & Style blogs
Charlie Charlie Challenge: how to banish the demon from your Facebook and Twitter news feed
World first as scientists use cold sore virus to attack cancer cells
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Cholesterol U-turn as research shows fatty foods might not be bad for us after all
'Paracetamol Challenge': Police and teachers issue warning to parents over social media craze
- 1 I was raped by another man. And now the Government wants to take away the one thing that saved my life
- 2 UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
- 3 Ricky Gervais jokes about 'battering Danish DJ to death with a bicycle pump' after rabbit killed
- 4 Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
- 5 England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup following Fifa arrests
iJobs Food & Drink
£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...
£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...
£24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...
Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...