Croatia Aims at More Stringent Anti-smoking Laws..

September 16, 2008 - A Croatian minister declared on Thursday, 9/11/2008 that the government will forward a new and tougher anti-tobacco bill to parliament. The new bill aims at making anti-smoking laws more severe and also includes a ban on smoking in public.

"With the new law, we want to change people's (smoking) habits and protect non-smokers," Health Minister Darko Milinovic said.

The minister said tobacco kills some 10,000 every year while an additional 3,000 people die from passive smoking in Croatia, where 32 percent of the 4.4 million population are smokers. The cost in Croatia of medical treatment for the consequences of smoking are estimated at some 422 million euros (589 million dollars) annually.

The bill, which envisages fines of up to 2,800 euros, is likely to be forwarded to parliament by the end of the month. Once adopted, it will enter into force within the next six months.

The Balkans are home to Europe's most inveterate smokers, where 30 to 40 percent of all adults are gripped by the habit, a major cause of premature death, according to the World Health Organization.

Reference: Croatia Set to Back Anti-Smoking Bill,, 9/9/2008.

Croatia ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty on July 14, 2008.