Bulgarian Parliament to Discuss Lifting of Smoking Ban
Bulgaria's Parliament will discuss the possibility of lifting the full smoking ban in closed public spaces, according to parliamentary health committee head Desislava Daritkova.
Amendments that would reinstate the segregated smoking areas in bars, restaurants and other establishments will be discussed by the committee next week, Daritkova told reporters on Friday.
She expressed her hope that lawmakers will be reasonable enough not to scrap the full smoking ban.
According to Daritkova, restaurant owners have not presented convincing evidence that their businesses have suffered as a result of the ban that was imposed on June 1.
She pointed out that health arguments are more important than business arguments.
On Thursday, MPs from the ruling GERB party declared that the full smoking ban in indoor spaces in Bulgaria would remain without any future changes. Their statement came on the heels of reports about Bulgaria's Parliament considering easing the full smoking ban in closed public spaces that was imposed in the country on June 1. The Standard daily wrote Tuesday that the ban may only be lifted in bars and night clubs and only after 10:00 pm.
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KK, unfair. Here is me being very sensitive to the rights of all (after all, statically smokers are now in the minority at 39% of the population) and you make the comment you did. ALL visitors to bars/clubs and restaurants have rights, as do the owners and their staff, it should not be beyond the minds of parliament to uphold all those rights. It should, also, not be beyond the good nature of everyone to be sensitive to the others needs. Segregation is the only option that will work, keeps everybody happy (except you maybe). Although I am a ex smoker (20+years) I actually do not mind sitting next to someone who does smoke so I am definitely not in the anti smoking brigade. I always was though, as a smoker, sensitive to where I smoked and never did in the vicinity of people eating.
I am a non (ex) smoker and I make 2 comments. (1) the segregated area option that we had earlier, I believe, to be the best and fairest option, it should suit smokers/non-smokers and businesses rights and needs. One provider, that the authorities AND BARS etc make sure it happens and don't let smoking into non-smoking areas. (2) I totally disagree that health needs outweigh business needs here although I totally agree with the sentiment. In a country and, at a time, where unemployment is high ANY loss of a job is a major issue and can be just as life threatening so, at this time, it is important to support businesses. This support, however, in this case, needs to be within a framework of "discouraging" smoking so that, over time, people start to understand and accept the need to stop. It needs understanding from both sides.