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Netherlands TV network appeals fine for smoking interview subject

Aug. 31, 2013 at 12:38 PM   |   Comments

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Netherlands public broadcaster VPRO said it's appealing a $792 levied against the network for airing an interview during which comedian Hans Teeuwen smoked.

Teeuwen said he lit up the cigarette out of habit during a 3-hour, one-on-one interview on "Zomergasten" at the end of July.

Health and safety inspectors said the act violated a ban on smoking in the workplace and levied the fine against the network, DutchNews.nl reported Saturday.

VPRO is appealing the fine because it said "the inspectors did not actually confirm Hans Teeuwen was smoking, live, in the studio."

The fine "is based on television footage, or rather, complaints from viewers," said program editor Peter van Ingen.

"Starting smoking is the stupidest thing I have ever done," Teeuwen said.

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