"The smoking bans in the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Berlin violate the constitution. However, the laws stay valid until the end of 2009, by when the parliaments have to pass new laws."

Seen on tagesschau.de (German). Crazy. Baden-Württemberg happens to be the state I live in.

It seems, the laws violate the rights of owners of very small bars. Why? Because owners of bigger bars are allowed to designate special areas to smokers; in smaller bars, that's impossible, leading to a significant disadvantage for these bars. As people won't have a way to smoke there, they'll move on to bigger bars instead, violating the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of profession.

Apparently, while only the anti-smoking laws of two states were in question here, this is a big signal for the other 14 states as well, as most of them have almost identical laws in place.

We'll see how the state governments react to that. If I had to guess, I'd say they'll allow bar owners under a specific square meter size of the establishment to choose whether or not they want to be a smoking or non-smoking venues.

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