Hospitality sector appeals to PM over Bulgaria’s costly smoking ban

| October 9, 2012

Representatives ofBulgaria’s restaurant and hotel sector have written an open letter to Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, asking for an easing of the country’s indoor public-places tobacco smoking ban, according to a Novinite story.

The sector estimates that turnover has slumped by 20-40 per cent since the ban was introduced on June 1 and is alarmed about a possible mass exodus of customers and, therefore, business bankruptcies, during the winter season.

The letter was signed by business owners from 26 cities, by the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, the informal association, Free Choice, and the Facebook group, ‘Association of Locales inBulgaria’.

According to a story in the Trud (Labor) daily, the associations seem to be making suggestions similar to those tabled in parliament on September 28 as proposed amendments to the Health Act.

The bill’s authors, Kiril Goumnerov and Stoyan Ivanov, who are not affiliated to any parliamentary group, said they wanted a return to the regulatory position that existed before the introduction of the ban whereby all establishments bigger than 70 square meters had to have separate smoking and non-smoking areas, while smaller establishments had the choice of being either fully-smoking or non-smoking.

Under the bill, night clubs would be smoking establishments, regardless of their size, but they would not be allowed to give entry to underage customers.

But this plan did not go down well with Bulgaria’s ruling party and senior government figures and, on October 5, Health Minister, Desislava Atanasova, said there would be no backtracking on the law against smoking in public places. Bulgaria had one of the worst rates of heart disease, a fact directly linked to the high rate of smoking among Bulgarians, she said.

Category: Breaking News

Comments are closed.