Cyprus - end of 1st month smoking ban working..

February 15, 2010 - On January 1, 2010 Cyprus joined the ranks of its European Union (EU) peers implementing a blanket ban on smoking.

According to data released by the police, officers made a total of 3,665 smoking-related inspections in January. In January 301 people have found themselves on the wrong side of the law. So far, police have charged 197 people for smoking and 104 owners or managers of establishments for letting people smoke.

As from January 15, on-the-spot fines for smoking indoors have been increased to €85 (115.57 USD) from €34 (46.23 USD), the police said yesterday. It applies to both smokers and the proprietors of the establishment.

Police spokesman Michael Katsounotos said the aim was to reach 100 percent compliance with the law on smoking, adding that as things stood today, with a little good will, this goal was attainable.

He denied suggestions that the police were applying double standards by carrying out a greater number of inspections and imposing more fines in the Limassol district than other districts. Katsounotos noted that Limassol has the largest number of leisure establishments and hence, a larger number of inspections and fines.

Katsounotos also commented that the discrepancy between the number of inspections conducted in Nicosia (444) and Morphou (486) should not be attributed to an uneven enforcement of policy by district, but rather to the fact that police headquarters in Nicosia have had more pressing matters to attend to in the past two months.

Reference: Over 300 flouted smoking ban in January, Cyrus Mail, 2/9/2010.

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