Bulgarian Nightlife Reported at Standstill after Smoking Ban
Empty tables, grumpy customers, and worried owners were the common picture in nightclubs and bars during the first weekend of the full smoking ban in public spaces in Bulgaria.
According to the Cross news agency, lines of people smoking outside were seen near some of the most popular establishments in the capital Sofia with some of them having no more than 7-8 visitors inside during what was previously known as their peak hours.
"If this remains the same, we will soon go bankrupt," terrified owners are quoted saying.
Cross further reports that a number of owners of bars and nightclubs in the second largest city of Plovdiv have allowed their customers to smoke despite the steep fines. Their boldness is grounded in the fact that there are only four teams of health inspectors with two people each checking more than 4 000 night establishments in the city.
"We were waiting for you and thought you would never come," the owners have joked upon the arrival of the inspectors.
Many establishments in the Black Sea city of Burgas have stayed closed over the weekend over the lack of customers. Some of the most popular ones that remained open had only one visit in 12 hours while in others the staff, left without anything to do, organized karaoke parties for themselves.
The picture has been the same across the largest Bulgarian cities with smokers who dared to venture out lighting cigarettes on sidewalks or in the bathrooms where smoking is also banned.
According to the report, health inspectors, in addition to walking around and probing establishments, are working on information about violations sent to them by vigilant non-smokers.
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"In FACT most non-smokers enjoy the smell of tobacco otherwise the issue of non-smoking bars would have been resolved decades ago."
What planet are you from, for goodness' sake? Just where did this FACT spring from, apart from your own crazed imagination? Personally, I actually DO like the smell of tobacco - but I certainly don't like the smell of cigarette smoke, in much the same way that grass smells good but burning grass is quite another thing.
I assume you ARE joking when you expect us to go along with the conspiracy theory about smoking being good for us and the anti-smoking lobby being stooges for "big pharma"? If you're serious then I thank big pharma for producing the anti-psychotic drugs which you have obviously been forgetting to take recently......
Have recently been informed inspectors in Popovo go into establishments with smoke detecting equipment, which is ok for places that do not use traditional heating methods, what is going to happen when winter comes and village bars start to use heating such as petchka's and Kamina's these appliances all give out smoke???? Also the reason the blanket ban was brought in instead of the originally agreed segregated areas is so the BG government could get MAJOR funds from the EU, what are peoples thoughts on this.
Matt and Seedy, its quite clear that neither of you can rationalize the issue of smoking in bars and revert to fascist mudslinging in a weak attempt to create a smokescreen and ignore the facts.
Just because you both have such delicate constitutions that you cannot cope with the fragrant scent of tobacco, the FACT is that the rest of society doesnt share your weaknesses. In FACT most non-smokers enjoy the smell of tobacco otherwise the issue of non-smoking bars would have been resolved decades ago.
Moreover, the FACT is there is NO scientific evidence that second hand smoke damages health - NONE, ZERO, ZILCH. The fact that your weak bodies suffer from such extreme reactions to a harmless herb is more a reflection on you than any evidence.
In addition, there is plenty of FACTS consisting peer reviewed scientific evidence that smoking is good for you and can be used to cheaply treat a range of common ailments that otherwise are untreatable or can only be partially treated by expensive medicines with significant side-effects produced by big Pharma.
Matt, there's a huge difference between historical realities being changed over the years and what actually existed at those times. My point dealt with how widespread feelings such as yours were back in those days and the fact that reference to them is almost totally nonexistent in the literature.
It's a manufactured disgust, and if for some unearthly reason well-funded pressure groups launched multi billion dollar campaigns stretching over 30 or 40 years to convince everyone that the scent of a pine log in a fireplace was an instant and deadly threat to life and absolutely disgusting... well, you might feel the same way about the pleasant pine log scent after such a campaign.
michael - the suggestion it didn't exist before 1940 doesn't mean it's not a pertinent point.
prior to 1940 in the UK, people were encouraged to fight for their country, and then posted to a wet field in a foreign land for a few weeks, before being ordered to march slowly in a line towards the machine gun wielding enemy.
Women didn't have the vote.
minorities were treated as second class citizens, and prior to that as slaves who weren't even human.
smoking was encouraged as a "manly" thing to do, as was growing a moustache or beard.
perhaps the "disgust" factor had always been there, but there were huge pressures to suppress it - it wouldn't be manly to complain about such a riproaring manly thing like smoking eh? much as there were very very few openly gay people back then - has gayness also just recently been invented as a tool to suppress all the glorious manly folk of the world, or has our society developed?
C'mon, folks - I think everyone has aired their "knowledge"/theories/opinions/prejudices ad nauseam. No-one is going to be swayed by what they regard as the incorrect/fascist/deluded views of their opponents so how about getting a life and talking about something which hasn't been done to death?
Matt, no, not that you MUST have been brainwashed, simply that you may well have been. You had not mentioned your background experience working in bars before, and with that information at hand I’d be more likely to think it comes from your experience. That still does not mean that your experience transfers over to a substantial part of the wider nonsmoking population.
Matt, I don’t know how much fiction reading you do or how old you are. I’ve read somewhere on the order of 10,000 novels in my life ( I’m 39… in Jack Benny years… ;> ) and many of them were written between 1940 and 1980 the Godber initiative aimed at creating concern about secondhand smoke really started to get underway. If the majority of people had felt as you do, there would have been substantial evidence of it in those novels – characters mentioning the “stink” of smoke etc. But if you look you will find that such a thing was literally unknown outside of some fussy wives complaining about cigars on their husbands’ poker nights.
For MOST people who feel as you do, it’s a created problem, not a natural one. Try doing some reading on the creation of “Disgust” in populations around the world and consider the role that has played among younger populations (under 40) in the last 30 years or so.
As to your question of me, “maybe it's you that needs psychological help - did you consider that?” the answer is “Of course.” Anyone who has a strongly held view that runs counter to the norm needs to do that sort of self-examination. It was my doubts about my view that led me initially to do the amount of research that I did in the 70s and 80s although I didn’t really become very active until the mid to late 90s. My research reinforced my early perceptions of how propaganda techniques were being used by antismoking advocates and of how they were deliberately distorting the science to support their world view and their desires. That belief has been reinforced with virtually every new study I’ve read and analyzed since.