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Bar owners against smoking ban

The owners of Ölstofa Kormáks og Skjaldar (“Kormákur’s and Skjöldur’s Alehouse”), commonly known as Ölstofan, are considering a lawsuit against the government for banning smoking in clubs and bars.

Kormákur Geirhardsson and Skjöldur Sigurjónsson believe the ban, which will take effect on June 1 this year, will harm their business, Fréttabladid reports.

They sent a letter to the state attorney requesting his opinion on the smoking ban, asking what kind of measures he suggested they should take so their bar could be run profitably after the ban takes effect.

“The Minister of Health promised suggestions once, but they have never made it to the desk of bar owners,” Geirhardsson said.

The lawyer of Geirhardsson and Sigurjónsson, Erlendur Thór Gunnarsson, explained the purpose of the letter to the state attorney is to give him a change to comment on what Gunnarsson considers “[…] an impairment of employment rights” before the next step is taken.

The smoking ban states that customers of restaurants, clubs and bars are not allowed to smoke tobacco under any circumstances and owners are not allowed to create special facilities for smokers either.

“Equality was not considered at all when these new laws were made. The roughest way is taken and nothing offered in exchange,” Geirhardsson said.

Gunnarsson said there are other ways to protect customers and staff from tobacco smoke, for example with a special room for smokers.

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