The Berlin city council is to propose unpopular non-smoking regulations affecting restaurants, bars, public buildings and hospitals to take effect as of Jan 2007. Currently a voluntary system operates in hotels and restaurants, encouraged by the German hospitality industry to appease non-smokers and tourists. Under this system, 30 per cent of restaurants measuring more than 75 sqm set aside a third of their tables for non-smokers. However, the new council legislation would seek to ban smoking completely in Berlins hospitals and public buildings, while instituting compulsory areas for non-smokers in restaurants and bars. In Germany around 3,300 deaths annually are caused directly by passive smoking.
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