EU Commissioner Hopes Bulgaria Doesn't Give Up on Smoking BanBulgaria in EU | February 16, 2012, Thursday // 14:29| views
EU Health Commissioner John Dalli (R). EPA/BGNES
EU Health Commissioner John Dalli has expressed his hope that Bulgaria does not postpone the implementation of its planned full smoking ban in closed public spaces.
"I would be disappointed and unsatisfied if the smoking ban is delayed in Bulgaria," Dalli declared during his visit to the Balkan country on Thursday.
He commented on the demands on behalf of Bulgarian restaurant owners that the ban be postponed until 2013, stating that the government should not succumb to the pressure of this business sector.
There will be no sanctions for Bulgaria if it does not impose a full smoking ban in June, Dalli explained. However, he reminded that if the government postpones the ban, it would be a signal for their lack of concern for the nation's health.
Dalli pointed out that the countries that have imposed a similar ban have seen a growth in their restaurant business sector instead of a decline.
"This is not a boxing match between smokers and non-smokers, it is about how we intend to preserve the health of our nations," Dalli said, as cited by BGNES.
Bulgaria's parliamentary health commission approved unanimously on Wednesday the proposal for introducing a full ban on smoking in closed public spaces as of June 1, 2012.
The cabinet recently issued an official proposal to introduce a full smoking ban for closed public areas on June 1, 2012.
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.
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