Bulgaria Marks No Tobacco Day as Full Smoking Ban LoomsHealth | May 31, 2012, Thursday // 08:18| views
Bulgaria ranks second after Greece in the EU in terms of number of regular smokers as a percentage of the population, according to a Eurobarometer survey. Photo by EPA/BGNES
A day before Bulgaria bans smoking in all enclosed public spaces, the country and the world will observe on May 31 the No Tobacco Day to draw global awareness to the widespread prevalence of smoking and its negative health effects.
In order to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco use and the harm smokers pose to others, Bulgarian health authorities will carry out health checks in the park in front of the National Theatre in downtown Sofia.
The citizens and visitors of the capital Sofia will have the opportunity to test their lungs for the presence of carbon monoxide.
In April, Bulgaria's Parliament passed on first reading a bill banning smoking in closed public spaces, including cafes, bars and restaurants, regardless of size.
The ban will enter into force on June 1.
According to the latest data, approximately 39% of Bulgarians are smokers. Some 30% of the Bulgarian women do not quit the harmful habit even after they get pregnant.
More than 50% of Bulgarians are said to be in favor of the introduction of a full smoking ban in enclosed public spaces.
The full smoking ban in closed public spaces was to be enforced in 2010, but was postponed by the government with the argument that it might harm the country's tourism.
Bulgaria's crack-down on smokers date back to 2005, when a partial smoking ban was introduced only to be widely ignored.