Bulgarian Govt Says No to Lifting Full Smoking Ban

October 9, 2012, Tuesday // 01:17
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Govt Says No to Lifting Full Smoking Ban
Bulgarian Health Minister Desislava Atanasova. File photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Health Minister Desislava Atanasova has firmly refused to lift the full smoking ban in closed public spaces imposed in June.

"This is a very European step that we made and we shouldn't come back," Atanasova told reporters on Tuesday.

The Minister's statement follows a plea made by business representatives to PM Boyko Borisov insisting on revoking the ban.

The business asked Borisov to initiate debates and changes in the Health Act banning smoking in public spaces. They propose to separate facilities as well as space inside restaurants and bars in smoking and non-smoking with strict adherence to the requirements for air-conditioning, ventilation, and not allowing minors inside the smoking places.

On Tuesday, Atanasova pointed out that the share of smokers among Bulgarian teenagers was disturbingly high, with 45% of teenage girls and 32.7% of teenage boys smoking.

Bulgarian teenage girls are the second most smoking in Europe, she said.


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