Politician Keeps Puffing Despite Smoking Ban
New laws are supposed to keep Germans from lighting up in the office. Yet one politician found a loophole in the new anti-smoking legislation. He invited colleagues to use his office as a designated smoking area.
Udo Nagel, Hamburg’s secretary of the interior, is a tobacco aficionado. That’s why he was obviously unhappy on Jan. 1 when his ministry adopted a smoking ban.
The pipe smoker submitted a request to turn his office into a designated smoking area and an employee council went along with the idea, government spokesman Reinhard Fallack in the online edition of the Hamburger Abendsblatt.
Co-workers can drop by the boss’ office (assuming he’s not in a meeting) and puff away, according to the newspaper.
In order to have his room declared a smoking area, Nagel could no longer claim it was a private office.
The opposition criticized the special rules for the senator, who does not have a party affiliation. The local health policy expert for the Christian Democratic U nion called the action “a very quirky interpretation of the law.”
Another politician said the action contradicted the “spirit and purpose of the law.”