Czech Republic - smoking prohibited in shopping centres..

December 19. 2010 - Czech public health officers have started to strictly suppress smoking in crowded shopping centres where cafes and restaurants must observe an absolute ban on smoking, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes Tuesday, December 14th.

If cafes and restaurants situated in shopping centres' open areas violate the rule, they face fines of tens of thousands of crowns, LN adds. Some restaurant owners complain that the ban on smoking discourage their clients, LN adds.

It recalls that under an amendment to the "anti-smoking law," which took effect in July, Czech restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars must place stickers at their entrances to clearly show whether they are smoke-free or not. Moreover, they should have separate rooms for smokers and non-smokers. (Czech Republic - some restaurants go smoke free as of July 1, 2010..)

Consequently, smoking must be completely banned in restaurants in shopping centres in harmony with the new legislation as they are not divided from shopping areas by walls.

Public health officers gave restaurant owners a six-month transitional period to prepare for the new rules, which expired at the beginning of December. "In the first phase the operators were reminded of the new requirements ensuing from the anti-smoking legislation, but now we have started enforcing it," Health Ministry spokesman Vlastimil Srsen said.

Dozens of shopping centres in the Czech Republic can either ban smoking in the whole building or separate the areas for smokers, LN writes. However, some cafe operators do not have money for such construction adjustments, LN adds. "Our receipts have decreased by one-third since the overall ban on smoking took effect," Prague 's TWIN cafe operator Marian Volfschitz complained in LN.

The Czech Republic is not doing very good in preventing children from smoking. (Czech children worst in cigarette smoking in world..)

Reference: LN: Smoking prohibited in Czech shopping centres, Prague Daily, 12/15/2010.

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