Bulgaria Mulls Easing Full Smoking Ban - Report
Bulgaria's Parliament considers easing the full smoking ban in closed public spaces that was imposed in the country on June 1, according to a local media report.
The Standart daily has clarified that the ban may only be lifted in bars and night clubs and only after 10:00 pm. Lawmakers have argued that, while people should be able to eat their dinner in smoke-free establishments, smoking would be still appropriate in bars and night clubs.
Standart says that the new proposal has been backed by MPs from all parties in the Parliament and is expected to be enforced in January 2012.
Lawmakers form the ruling centrist-right GERB have declared that the recently proposed reintroduction of separate smoking and non-smoking areas will not be supported.
In November, Bulgarian business representatives, as well as regular citizens assembled in front of the Bulgarian Parliament in Sofia to rally for a lifting of the full smoking ban in closed public spaces.
Bulgaria is consistently ranking among the top 5 European countries in terms of smoking rates, both in the general population and among the young.
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