Smoking ban largely respected in bars and restaurants in 2022

Smoking ban largely respected in bars and restaurants in 2022
Credit: Belga

The ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants in Belgium was largely respected in 2022, according to figures from the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA), published on Monday on the website of the Federal Public Health Department.

In 2022, AFSCA carried out 3,500 controls of the ban on smoking in pubs and found that it was not respected in 5% of cases.

The Agency also carried out 8,087 controls in catering establishments, finding a violation of the ban in 0.8% of cases.

Since its creation in 2000, the AFSCA has monitored the ban in restaurants, sandwich shops, snack bars and other establishments serving meals to be consumed on site.

The checks on bars and cafés were carried out by Public Health inspectors.

Since 1 January 2023, the Department has been monitoring the smoking ban in all hospitality industry establishments. So far, it has also carried out checks on compliance with the ban on the sale of alcohol to minors in addition to ensuring compliance with the law on indoor air quality in the hospitality industry.

“This new decision allows the inspection service to carry out all these controls simultaneously” for “increased efficiency,” the Department said on its website.

The AFSCA also cooperates with the Public Health Department by transmitting information when it identifies elements that may indicate non-compliance with the smoking ban, such as the presence of ashtrays or the smell of smoke in a catering establishment.

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