Smoke ban upsets customers

POSTED: 02/13/13 12:23 PM

St. Maarten – In The Hague, a majority of MPs voted for a motion to reintroduce a complete smoking ban in bars, restaurants and cafes. This outcome developed a huge dissatisfaction throughout the Netherlands yesterday afternoon.

The ban was brought in almost 5 years ago, but in 2010 the previous government abolished the ban for small bars and cafes run solely by their owner. That did not stop the rest of the majority of bars, cafes and nightclubs to still allow their costumers to smoke.

On St. Maarten such a ban does not exist, mainly because most bars and restaurants are outside. But still with the visitors who come to the island on a daily base, the dissatisfaction can be heard throughout the hospitality sector.

“We come to visit St. Maarten for the past 5 years and we are still surprised to see that smoking is allowed almost everywhere,” a tourist from New York says. “I know that most of the places are outside, but when me and my husband want to go for dinner somewhere and a couple comes to sit next to you and lights a cigarette it still disgusts me,” she continues. “In New York it’s not allowed anymore for years, and trust me, your dinner is much fresher.”

“I am a smoker and I don’t even like it when people during dinner at a restaurant smoke. Is it really that hard to wait until you’re finished and outside to light your smoke?” a front desk clerk says.

The most upsetting comments on smoking are the fact that even when most of the establishments are outside, it’s still allowed to smoke almost everywhere even in closed restaurants, clubs and casinos. “It’s horrible to come home after a nice evening and your clothes are poisoned by the smell of tobacco. You have to wash everything including your bed sheets to get rid of that horrible scent,” John a shop owner said.  “For me I think it’s a good idea to ban people from smoking in closed establishments, there are enough places that are open aired so people will have a place to go to if they still want to smoke a cigarette, I think that it will improve a large section in the hospitality business.”




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