Bulgarian Establishments to Stage Smoking Ban Boycott

Society | December 12, 2012, Wednesday // 10:37| Views: | Comments: 14
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Bulgarian Establishments to Stage Smoking Ban Boycott: Bulgarian Establishments to Stage Smoking Ban Boycott Bulgaria is consistently ranking among the top 5 European countries in terms of smoking rates, both in the general population and among the young. File photo

Beginning December 15, the managers of Bulgarian bars, restaurants and coffee shops will allow smoking in their establishments despite the full smoking ban being effective in the country.

The Chairman of the Bulgarian Association of Hotel and Restaurant Owners (BHRA), Blagoy Ragin says the boycott will, most likely, last until the end of the year and aims at showing the difference in profits when smoking is allowed inside.

The warning will turn into reality if lawmakers fail to listen and respond favorably to demands of BHRA members to return to having smoking and no-smoking spaces inside establishments.

The owners and managers are going to pay any fines imposed on them for the boycott.

On Tuesday, Ragin met with Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and Health Minister, Desislava Atanasova, but has been told they back the full smoking ban and BHRA needs to find a lobby in the Parliament. Atanasova, however, said later the Members of the Parliament also want the full ban to remain in force.

Meanwhile, Ragin insisted that MPs from the two main opposition formations – the left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, have given BHRA 100% support.

Dian Chervenkondev, MP from Borisov's ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, in contradiction of what was reported by Atanasova, said there would be separate spaces for smokers and non-smokers in an attempt to achieve balance and reasonable consensus.

Chervenkondev grounded his statement on the fact the revenues of the establishments were collapsing, forcing many to close and layoff staff.

Last Thursday, MPs from GERB 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 earlier that the ban may only be lifted in bars and night clubs and only after 10:00 pm.

On Sunday, in a TV interview, Borisov pointed out that, since the full smoking ban is an important measure, it has to be discussed again, and hinted he would see the above decision as a reasonable move.

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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Tags: Desislava Atanasova, smoking ban, full smoking ban, Bulgaria, night clubs, bars, smoking, GERB, MPs, Boyko Borisov, Blagoy Ragin, restaurants, BHRA, boycott, Dian Chervenkondev, BSP, DPS
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» To the forumComments (14)
rfp - 11 May 2013 // 15:29:41

jealous that you are not able to smoke pot freely? and not having a good health system like we?

Seedy - 11 May 2013 // 08:21:29

Wrong! Your so-called country (where everyone actually speaks German with a permanently blocked nose - probably from smoking pot) is required by the EU Fuehrerin to welcome all the dregs of Europe and treat them as your own. Your punishment for not supporting the Glorious Reich is for the tsigani to come and pillage your flat and boring German Province.

rfp - 11 May 2013 // 00:12:23

we gave allready a lot of money to the Bulgarians. They come to Holland to rub our healt system

Seedy - 8 May 2013 // 16:59:51

Shock Horror - another Dutch Puritan won't be gracing us with his presence!

How long can the country last without his smoke-free Euros?

rfp - 8 May 2013 // 15:01:16

I do not smoke So I have never smoke Pot. What do you know about Pot? Post is forbidden in Bulgaria, So how do you know what Pot is? How do you know Pot is more or less healthier than smoking. I suppose you have smoked Pot than. Otherwise you are not able to know if it is healthier or not

rfp - 7 May 2013 // 02:56:46

maybe I should spent my holidays in Ireland. The are more strictly about smoking in Restaurants. They do well business in their restaurants too.

rfp - 7 May 2013 // 02:53:02

my friends and my colleagues are all non-smokers. Nobody smoke in my house and I entered in Holland only bars and restaurants where they do not smoke.
I do not want that they smoke when I am eating. So I hope to find a non-smoking restaurant in Bulgaria.
I know that will be very hard to find.

rfp - 7 May 2013 // 02:45:46

First, I never have smoked POT. Not every person in Holland is an junky. 2nd I do not like smoke when I eat. So that is the reason that I do not like a restaurant where they smoke.
I never entered a Dutch coffee shop. I bet you will do when you visit Holland

Mr. Pitkin - 7 May 2013 // 02:35:04

I wonder why you don't like "smoking" restaurants in Bulgaria when allow smoking of pot in Holland? So smoking pot is OK but tobacco not?
Isn't that hypocrisy in its finest?

rfp - 7 May 2013 // 01:16:41

In two weeks I am again in Sofia. I hope to find non-smoking restaurants.

Ivanko - 14 Dec 2012 // 20:14:58

Excellent news, smoking everywhere. Much more fun, much more people amusing theirself and much more drinks being sold.

Top evening!

Looking forward to the end of the smoking ban.

Mat - 14 Dec 2012 // 15:45:21

I was in a restaurant the other day and people were openly smoking in 'the smoking area'. The waitress seemed convinced that it would be legal again from the new year.

madoods - 13 Dec 2012 // 09:25:40

Thanks for warning non smokers about this. It will give them a chance to make sure they get any restaurant visits in before the 15th December...... only 2 days to go

MysteryHP - 12 Dec 2012 // 20:19:01

Crazy! Bulgaria really remains a lawless society, where business always overrides the interest f its citizens. This smoking ban is about health and conern for BG's citizens. These business people don't care, and want their profits no matter what, not to adopt to a normal international standard of banning smoking, but to make Buglaria a unique smmokers paradise. SMoking is an epidemic in BG, why not give the ban a chance, and find a way to adapt.

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