Offences were observed in 13% of cafés monitored for compliance with the smoking ban in 2017. However La Dernière Heure is reporting, on Friday, that excluding the shisha bar and discotheque sectors, the number of offences has fallen to 11%.
Maggie De Block, the Minister for Public Health, indicates, “Several checks in particular have taken place in shisha bars and discotheques, in which the smoking-ban legislation is still not being sufficiently complied with. The number of offences shows that we should pursue these checks in the years to come.”
As alluded to above, offences were observed in 13% of controlled cafés. The Federal Public Service states, “Overall the implementation of the café smoking ban has not reduced compared to 2016, but that hides a more nuanced reality.” The FPS goes on, “The main issues are in shisha bars and discotheques, which have low levels of compliance with the legislation. If we remove these two sectors, by including them into the ‘café’ category, the number of offences falls to 11%.”
Last year, 22,222 inspections (within public places, within the hotel and catering sector, gaming rooms and points of sale) were carried out by the FPS Public Health. In comparison, in 2015, 17,700 inspections had been reported. The increase in the number of inspections may be explained, in particular, by the hiring of 12 further inspectors for this purpose.
Vinciane Charlier, the spokeswoman for the FPS Public Health indicates that, in 2017, 2,396 statements of offences were made and “€813,000 were demanded in administrative fines.”