Bulgaria - commission tightens smoking ban a little..

May 15, 2010 - The Bulgarian Healthcare Commission has decided to reduce the size of bars/restaurants that will be allowed to permit smoking on their whole premises. The Commission announced Thursday, May 13th that they would reduce the permitted size from 100 square meters to 50 sq.m, meaning that any bars/restaurants over the size of 50 sq.m will have to provide a separate isolate room for smokers.

This decision came after the Commission reviewed changes to the Health Act regarding smoking, before the second reading of the new bill is held in the Bulgarian Parliament. The final changes mean that there will be a full smoking ban in public places on June 1, while just 24 hours later on June 2, smoking will be allowed under certain conditions. It was also revealed that for all bars/restaurants that only work at night there will be no requirement to provide a separate room for smoking.

In May 2009 Bulgarian lawmakers (MP - members of parliament) voted to ban smoking in all public spaces from June 2010, ignoring protests from tobacco producers and the tourist industry in Europe's number two smoker. (
Bulgarian lawmakers voted to ban smoking in all public places from June 2010..

On February 18, 2010 - The Members of the Parliament (MPs) from the ruling GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) party proposed the annulment of the full smoking ban that should become effective in Bulgaria on June 1, 2010. (Bulgaria - govt to weaken full smoking ban to be effective June 1, 2010..)

February 23, 2010 - Bulgaria's ruling party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) may delay until 2011 the introduction of a new smoking ban in the country, which has the second highest percentage of smokers in the European Union. The postponement in the introduction of the ban, initially set for June this year, aims to avoid hurting the tourist industry during times of crisis, according to the Finance Minister Simeon Djankov. (Bulgaria - ruling party may delay smoking ban until 2011..; Bulgaria - justifying why smoking ban won't go into effect on June 1, 2010..)

The Bulgaria's parliament started on Friday, April 16th to debate at first reading the ruling-party proposal to water down a new smoking ban in the country. (Bulgaria - parliament debates proposal to water down smoking ban..

The new Bulgarian Health Minister Anna-Maria Borisova backed parliament's decision to loosen up smoking ban in public places in Bulgaria. A majority of 85 Bulgarian MPs (members of parliament) voted Wednesday, April 28th in favor of the motion to ease ban on smoking in all indoor public places (53 MPs were against the proposal while 5 abstained from voting). (Bulgaria - to loosen smoking ban to start June 1, 2010..)

Reference: Bulgaria Health Commission Tightens Smoking Ban, Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency), 5/13/2010.

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