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Berlin Bans Smoking ::

Reported by Tristan Ingram on January 9, 2008

Berlin authorities this week outlawed smoking in clubs, introducing fines of up to €100 for customers and €1,000 for clubs and bars who flout the ban.

The Guardian suggested Germany’s relative lateness in introducing indoor bans was linked to the country’s history, with many locals seeing the law as an attack on civil liberties.

“Smoking is seen as a symbol of the relaxations after the Nazi era,” said Guardian correspondent Kate Connolly, “During which Adolf Hitler cracked down on the habit,” she added.

Skrufff man-in-Berlin Mark Reeder (a non smoker all his life) broadly welcomed the new laws, saying ‘the only real negative aspects of the smoking ban I can see is that all the unpleasant smells which are usually shrouded and covered by cigarette smoke, will now be free to invade your nostrils.

“And the idea that people can denounce someone smoking illegally to the troops of "ordnungsamt" officers who will be creeping around the clubs and bars, does sound like something from a previous version of Germany,” Mark agreed.
“I know many club owners are worried that their clients will stop going out and some are trying to start an initiative to have the laws relaxed with regards to clubs and bars. We might even see the birth of illegal speak-easy type smoking dens in the future, where you can drink, dance and smoke your head off,” he suggested.

Neon Raiders promoter Eigk told Skrufff he fears the ban might affect smaller clubs, pointing out ‘who wants to go outside in the winter in Berlin?’

“I think the whole idea is just another step in the war against nightlife and the freedom of people in general,” Eigk continued, “The whole thing sucks and NO, I am not supporting it.”

“On the other hand I’ve seen the change happen in New York as well and people adapted to it sooner or later; well, they must, mustn’t they,” he added.

“So, will it affect NEON RAIDERS? Let’s just say I’m thinking positive for now,” he said.

Jonty Skrufff (