Croatia - ban in smoking in public places goes in effect..

November 10, 2008 - Anti-tobacco law that bans smoking in all public institutions as well as work places has entered into force as of Thursday, November 6, 2008 in Croatia.

We thought this ban went into effect on October 27, 2008.

A warning about health risks caused by smoking will have to cover 40 percent of the back of a cigarette pack, the legislation stipulates. Fines of up to 2,100 euros (2,681.10 USD) for individuals and up to 21,000 euros (26,812.45 USD) for entrepreneurs will be imposed on those violating the smoking ban.

The health ministry estimated that tobacco kills some 10,000 people every year while an additional 3,000 die from passive smoking in Croatia, where 32 percent of the country's 4.4 million population are smokers. Health costs of treating the consequences of smoking are estimated at a significant 422 million euros (589 million dollars) annually.

Croatia already had laws banning smoking in health and education facilities, and marking out separate smoking areas in other public spaces. But the rules have often been ignored, notably in bars, restaurants and offices.

Reference: Smoking ban in public places enters into force in Croatia, IDIVIDI, 11/7/2008.

Another related reference: Croatia Aims at More Stringent Anti-smoking Laws..