Bulgaria Marks Tobacco Free Day amidst Smoking Ban Polemic
November 15this the 35th Anniversary of the International Smoke Free Day. File photo
On November 15th, the third Thursday in November, many countries, including Bulgaria, mark the International Smoke Free Day (Great American Smokeout).
It was established by the American Cancer Society in 1977. This year is its 35th Anniversary.
The Health Ministry is calling on Bulgarians to give up smoking, preferably for good, but if not – just for one day.
The call and the day come amid controversy in the country over the recently imposed full smoking ban with owners of bars and restaurants insisting they are facing bankruptcies while smokers are preparing to stage a new protest rally in Sofia.
Speaking on the occasion of the International Smoke Free Day, Dr. Angel Kunchev, Chief Health Inspector, said the ban would have a long-term effect on the health of Bulgarians. According to him, the first results will be seen in 2-3 years with having fewer smokers and tobacco-related illnesses.
Kunchev voiced his conviction that the majority of Bulgarians support the full smoking ban, but those against it were more laud and aggressive.
Meanwhile, two Members of the Parliament have filed a proposal to amend the Health Care Act to make the ban partial on grounds the full ban is dooming the locales' business over reduced revenues and layoffs of personnel.
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