Bulgarian Smokers to Stage Yet Another Anti-Ban Protest

February 1, 2013, Friday // 11:41
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Smokers to Stage Yet Another Anti-Ban Protest
The initiative has been spearheaded by popular movie star Andrey Slabakov, a passionate chain-smoker. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgarian protesters are to gather in front of the Parliament in downtown Sofia on Friday to stage a new rally in favor of "equal rights for smokers and non-smokers."

The protest has been triggered by the full smoking ban for enclosed public spaces that was imposed in June 2012, the informal Association "Free Choice" has told reporters.

Andrey Slabakov, Bulgarian movie director and fervent campaigner for reintroducing smoking in establishments, has described the ban as "absurd, repressive, intolerant and non-European."

Slabakov has noted that the protesters demand the reintroduction of separate smoking and non-smoking areas in restaurants and bars.

"We (smokers) won't enter the non-smoking areas," he has pointed out.

Bulgaria's marginal right-wing Union of Democratic Forces party announced earlier this week that it will start a petition for a referendum on smoking in public spaces.

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