Restaurants and Cafes do not Comply with the Smoking Ban
The ban on smoking indoors is not respected by many establishments. This shows a Nova TV report, made with a hidden camera in random places. Health inspectors who go into restaurants as secret clients have been asking if they could smoke.
A change in the control rules is foreseen, and in addition to the health inspectors there will be representatives of other institutions - the labor inspectorate, the police, the municipalities. Liability will now be brought to the manager of the establishment, not the owner.
Since the beginning of the year, by the end of November, health inspectors have conducted nearly 176,000 inspections. They found 1430 violations and fines were imposed for BGN 477,500.
Our country is one of Europe's leading in the number of smokers. More than 28% of Bulgarians smoke regularly, Eurostat data show. Every year 19,000 non-smokers die in the EU because of the exposure to tobacco smoke.
The Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Organization are opposed to tighter control. "The manager is not a sheriff. He or she can not be held responsible for third parties. After this product is legal, there must be room for those people to enter and use it. Loopholes in the law exist because the market requires it, explained Atanas Dimitrov from the association before Nova TV.
The association proposes to separate individual smoking areas to be certified and licensed. And in these areas the products to be more expensive. "Perhaps the client will appreciate and will slowly be directed to give up his habit, because it is expensive," explained Dimitrov.
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