MUNICH, Germany (AP) The German state of Bavaria has approved plans to introduce the country's toughest smoking restrictions in January, passing legislation that should see Munich's famed Oktoberfest go smoke-free.
The partial ban on smoking in the southeastern state will take effect Jan. 1 the latest piece in an expanding patchwork of smoking restrictions in what has traditionally been one of western Europe's most nicotine-friendly countries.
The state legislature in Munich approved the plan by a 140-18 margin, with eight abstentions, after conservative lawmakers toughened the original proposal from the state government. Smoking in bars, restaurants, discos and state offices will be banned.
Unlike other states that have introduced bans, Bavaria will not allow for special rooms to be set aside for smokers at restaurants, and also will not exempt beer tents including those at the Oktoberfest, Munich's annual celebration of the national brew. Only private functions will be exempted.