Plan to ease Bulgaria’s tobacco smoking ban in time for winter holiday season

| November 26, 2013

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) is expected to try to ease Bulgaria’s tobacco smoking ban in enclosed public places in time for New Year celebrations, according to a Novinite story quoting the Bulgarian Trud (labor) daily.

Amendments to the country’s Health Act are due to be voted on in parliament in December, just before the start of the holidays, during which many hospitality-sector establishments expect to enjoy high turnovers.

“Right after we adopt the state budget, we will move the Health Act on the agenda and ease the ban around New Year,” said Spas Panchev, deputy chair of the BSP’s parliamentary group and one of the strongest proponents of easing smoking regulations.

The easing of restrictions would see the establishment of designated, separate smoking and nonsmoking areas in large restaurants and coffee shops, while the owners of smaller establishments, with floor areas of less than 70 square meters, would be able to decide whether their establishments should or should not allow smoking. Smoking would be allowed in bars and nightclubs.

However, it is by no means certain that those wanting to ease the current ban will carry the day because there is a lot of opposition to what they are attempting.

Category: Breaking News

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