Sofia Health Inspectorate Steps Up Checks on Indoor Smoking Ban
The Sofia Health Inspectorate will increase the number of checks on the implementation of the indoor smoking ban in restaurants, clubs, bars, discotheques and cafes, reports Dnevnik.bg.
The increased number of complaints about violations of the ban in various establishments in Sofia, has prompted the Inspectorate to step up the checks, as well as to start publishing daily information on the results on its website.
Inspections will also be carried out during the weekends. Up until recently, the Inspectorate's phone number was working only in business hours Monday through Friday. Now inspectors will be taking complaints on the mobile number 0889 822 626 around the clock.
In spite the fines for such violations, the owners prefer to pay the fines and turn the blind eye to the smoking clients. Late in the evening and at night the staff in some of Sofia's bars, clubs, discotheques, cafes and restaurants even provides ashtrays upon request.
The indoor smoking ban in restaurants, clubs, bars, discotheques and cafes, office buildings, cinemas, theatres, hospitals, schools and other public buildings entered into effect on June 1, 2012. It is violated on a regular basis throughout the country. Various parties in Parliament have tried to cancel it throughout the years, the most recent being in the end of 2013 by the nationalists from Ataka. This autumn the MPs from the party tried raising the issue again, but the Health Minister Petar Moskov, an avid smoker himself, said he was firmly against and the ban must stand.
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