Bulgaria To Ease Smoking Ban before New Year

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Socialist Party in Bulgaria wants to ease smoking ban in public places for the celebrations of the New Year. The proposal to be voted in Bulgarian Parliament in December before winter holidays exactly when businesses win higher profits.

Spas Panchev is Deputy Chair of the parliamentary group of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, who proposed to ease the smoking regime during winter holidays. He says that after they adopt the State budget, they will include the Health Act on the agenda and ease the ban around New Year.

The idea of the ban is to make owners of the small establishments (less than 70 square meters) to decide by themselves on their own if the place will be for non-smokers or smokers, while large establishments like restaurants and coffee shops should have separate areas for smokers and non-smokers. However, smoking will be permitted in bars and night clubs.

There are people in Parliament who oppose the proposal. Thus the plan has been met with severe diasgreement from the major opposition outfits, the right-wing Reformist Bloc and the center-right formerly-ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party GERB. The representatives of GERB said they would support the propsal in case all lawmakers also support it.

The Parliamentary Health Committee is against the  proposed modifications but the Economic Committee supports easing the full smoking ban.  To not that the full smoking ban was introduced in Bulgaria in June 2012 by the GERB government of former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

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