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Smoking ban unlikely to be lifted despite hospitality-sector losses

| September 26, 2012

The Bulgarian restaurant sector is registering record losses because of the country’s tobacco smoking ban, according to a Novinite story quoting the deputy chair of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Atanas Dimitrov.

Speaking to bTV on Tuesday, Dimitrov said that turnover in the sector had slumped by 50 per cent since the introduction of the ban.

And yet the ban had not and would not reduce the number of smokers in the country. Dimitrov cited data from the Finance Ministry showing that, in June, after the imposition of the ban, revenues from tobacco products excise duty were BGN994 million, which was BGN73 million higher than during the previous month.

He insisted that the ban should be lifted and that the country returned to the previous arrangements whereby hospitality venues had smoking and non-smoking areas.

However, Dimitrov’s pleas are likely to fall on deaf ears. The Health Ministry is unwavering in its support for the ban.

Its representatives said nothing ‘apocalyptic’ had been seen to happen during the past three months when the ban was in effect.

Society had accepted the ban reasonably well, they said, and going back on the ban would be more detrimental.

Category: Breaking News

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