Bulgarian Health Ministry to Increase Smoking Ban Checks during Holidays
The Bulgarian Health Ministry has announced it will increase the checks for smoking in public places during the upcoming holidays.
The reason for the increased checks are signals from citizens that the rules for smoking in bars, restaurants and coffee shops are not followed strictly during the holidays as smokers feel more tempted to break the ban.
Bulgaria’s Parliament rejected on first reading the amendments to the Health Act, which proposed to liberalize the full smoking ban.
The first amendment, proposed by the nationalist Ataka party was refuted with 107 votes “against”, 64 “for”, and 17 abstained.
The second proposal, which was submitted by Socialist MP Spas Panchev, received 76 votes “for”, 106 “against”, and 8 abstained.
The opposition GERB party voted unanimously against the amendments, while the Ataka MPs supported them. The Socialists and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) voted in a mixed way.
The debate “for” and “against” smoking in public spaces was once again quite heated and consumed nearly 3 hours of the plenary session.
The full smoking ban was introduced in June 2012 by the GERB government of former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
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