Bulgarians Protest against Ease of Smoking Ban
A protest against the smoking ban repeal is held in front of the Bulgarian Parliament Thursday.
Bulgarian lawmakers are expected to put to the vote the proposal for amendments to the full smoking ban.
"We have been protesting since 8 am when the MPs entered the building. We expressed our resistance to easing the smoking ban so that the lawmakers are aware of people's attitude towards the ban," doctor Gergana Geshanova of "Bulgaria without Smoke" (Bulgaria bez dim) said for Focus news agency.
"The proposal for amendments to the smoking ban is a disgrace and a betrayal of the Bulgarian people, and if the ban is revoked it will be a humiliation for our nation," Geshanova claimed.
According to her, other countries are working towards expanding the smoking restrictions, imposing hefty fines on violators.
Geshanova insisted that smoking was an addiction which should not be promoted and compared it to drugs addiction.
"Bulgaria without Smoke" warns that protests will continue if the Parliament approves the amendments to the full smoking ban.
According to a survey of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), over half of Bulgarians support the restrictions on smoking in closed public spaces.
The full smoking ban was introduced in June 2012 by the GERB government of former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
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