Tourism minister fuels smoking debate
Luxembourg's watchdog for children's rights has criticised the country's tourism minister for putting profits before health over the debate on smoking in cafés, bars and clubs.
Françoise Hetto-Gaasch has publicly supported the view of catering chiefs at Horesca and the Democratic party, saying that smokers should be able to choose whether they light up in bars and cafés, in order to safeguard the financial interests of businesses.
As such, she argues that Casino 2,000 should escape a proposed ban on smoking in bars and cafés due to come into force in 2012.
The Ombudsman for the rights of the child, however, has accused the minister of putting “economic interests before health.”
It said: "The duty of politicians is to enforce laws in the interests of citizens, not lobbyists. In order to protect the health of adolescents there should be a complete ban on cigarette in cafés. We have seen lengthy discussions where the government has finally decided and we support the Ministry of Health in its efforts to definitively ban smoking in public places."