Belgium: Universal Smokers Church Fined For Violating Smoking Ban
A 40 year old man from Wachtebeke Belgium has been fined the sum of €1,650 by the Ghent Criminal Court for violating the smoking ban systematically.
Between September and December 2011, inspectors on control discovered staffs and clients at café Towerbridge were allowed to smoke without disturbance.
The manager tried to bypass the smoking ban by officially registering his pub as a prayer house of the “One and Only Universal Smokers Church of God.” The bartender called on religious freedom, but the court went ahead and sentenced him to a fine.
The FOD Volksgezondheid, Food Chain Safety and Environment consider this judgement is the first statement for “systematic violation” of the smoking ban in a cafe. “The FOD is satisfied with this ruling, which clearly indicates that smoking in public areas of justice, like the majority of the population, is no longer acceptable.”

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