Bulgaria Vows to Introduce Full Smoking Ban June 1 2012

Health | May 31, 2011, Tuesday // 13:36|  views

Bulgaria's Health Minister Stefan Konstantinov. Photo by BGNES

A full smoking ban is to be introduced in Bulgaria on June 1 2012, the country's Health Minister, Stefan Konstantinov announced Tuesday, the global No Tobacco Day.

"We will not do like the Americans and abolish smoking even in parks, but I believe banning it in closed spaces will be the next useful step," Konstantinov said Tuesday, as cited by the Dnevnik daily.

According to data gathered by the Bulgarian Health Ministry, the number of female smokers increased by 13% between 1995 and 2008, while 5% more man took up the unhealthy habit during the same period. The statistical data from 2008 shows Bulgaria is second only to Greece when it comes to the number of everyday smokers in EU. The country is also "first" in the bloc in the number of smokers aged under 15.

In the beginning of January 2011, Bulgoria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov endorsed the idea of a full smoking ban in bars and caffes until 11:30 PM. Such a measure was to be enforced in 2010, but was postponed by the government with the argument that it might harm the country's tourism.

According to the current restrictions that entered into effect on December 19, 2010, indoor smoking in restaurants, clubs, bars, hotels, railroad stations, airports, malls, offices and schools is allowed only in separate spaces with closing doors.

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Tags: full smoking ban, smoking, Stefan Konstantinov, no tobacco day, Health Ministry, smokers


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