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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Peter, it *seems* simple to any rational person, but it is not. What you need to understand is that the real purpose behind these bans has nothing at all to do with worries about secondhand smoke. The bans are behavioral conditioning mechanism to make smoking as inconvenient, uncomfortable, and "painful" as possible in order to condition the "rats" (i.e. the smokers) into the desired behaviors.
Of course the problem that arises is that human beings are NOT rats and should NOT accept having their behavior "conditioned" as if they WERE rats.
There is no sound health reason why comfortable, decently ventilated, indoor smoking lounges and bars should not be allowed. The ONLY reason has to do with behavioral conditioning: Treating Bulgarians as if they were rats.
Shame about the ditching of segregated smoking areas inside as this means (A) Non-smokers who want to stay out late with friends/family will have to eat up before 10.00pm and then put up with others smoking, perhaps even on the next table. (B) every bar that paid out for screening to segregate smokers from non-smokers have wasted their money. To re-introduce segregated areas seemed to be so simple and completely fair to everyone.