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Dutch smoking ban goes up in smoke

/ Source: The Associated Press

The new Dutch government has scrapped a smoking ban for small bars and cafes, reversing a public health measure introduced two years ago by the previous administration.

Health Minister Edith Schippers says the ban will be lifted on family-run bars and cafes smaller than 750 square feet, but won't change for places larger than that.

Schippers said Wednesday in a letter to parliament the move "gives consumers more choice".

Small cafe owners complained bitterly after the ban became official in July 2008, saying it sent their profits plummeting.

Schippers said the government will lift the ban immediately.