A pregnant woman has taken a stand against second-hand smoke and launched a petition for a ban on smoking in Luxembourg's bars and cafés.
Luxembourg resident Paola P. was so fed up with having to avoid her favourite bars because she feared the smoke would affect her unborn baby, she took action. This week the Italian national launched an online petition destined for Luxembourg's health minister, Mars Di Bartolomeo, calling for an immediate ban.
“The most heard sentence is 'come on, even in Italy it's respected',” explained Paola, adding ironically: “So, if the Italians survived, why shouldn't other countries, which are even more used to respecting the laws?”
The 37-year-old is not alone, it would seem. A wave of people have signed the petition since its launch and more are expected to follow.
Paola explained that like her, many of her friends who don't smoke avoid going to bars because they “get sick of smelling of smoke”.
“Being seven months pregnant, I haven't seen a bar or danced for a while because I cannot go into the smoky bars without feeling sick or feeling guilty for my baby,” she told wort.lu/en.
Luxembourg's parliamentary commission for health and social security is currently analysing the new smoking ban draft law. However, it has been under discussion for several years and the petition author says she is tired of waiting.
“We feel like the government is making a fool of the citizens by delaying the approval of the law, “ she said, adding: “The fact that Luxembourg is a founding member of the EU, usually committed to protecting the health and well-being of the citizens, it is a shame to see it resist aligning to this law.”
As for the argument from publicans and café managers that a smoking ban would be bad for business, Paola thinks that in Luxembourg it will have the reverse effect. “Dozens of new faces would fill those bars if smoking was forbidden,” she said.