Public Space Smoking Ban Becomes Effective in Bulgaria

Health | December 19, 2010, Sunday // 17:56|  views

Bulgaria has one of the highest smokers rates in the EU at some 39% of people declaring themselves daily smokers, topped only by Greece at 42%. File photo

The smoking ban in public spaces became effective Sunday, the Bulgarian Health Ministry informs.

Smoking spaces inside restaurants, coffee shops and bars, in commercial and administrative buildings and in railroad stations, and airports, must have walls and tight-closing doors and good ventilation equipment.

Owners of coffee shops and restaurants with less than 50 square meters have the right to decide themselves if the establishment will be a smoking or entirely non-smoking space. In case smoking is allowed, individuals under the age of 18 would not be admitted as they are banned from smoking in all indoors spaces.

In larger establishments, at least 50% of the space must be dedicated to non-smokers.

In night clubs, smoking will be allowed at all times regardless of how large they are.

Open-space coffee shops and restaurants inside shopping malls are becoming non-smoking facilities.

Owners face fines for inadequate ventilation and lack of sings designating the non-smoking sections and the smoking ban for those under 18.

Fines for owners range from BGN 500 to BGN 10 000. Individuals, who violate the ban, would also face fines, but only if they agree to provide their ID card.

The Health Ministry further informs that despite the fact the order is effective beginning December 19, the checks of health inspectors for violations will begin after the Holidays, on January 3, 2011.

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Tags: smoking, smoking ban, cigarettes, Ministry of Health, public space


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