Romania To Toughen Anti-Smoking Legislation

No Smoking

Larisa Marinescu, aged 32, lives in Bucharest and is mother of eight-month-old girl. She frequently walks in a city park with her daughter and says that she is happy that smoking is banned there. In Bucharest there are few smoke-free public places.

Larisa says that it is hard to find a smoke-free dining place to go there with a kid. She finds it totally abnormal, and therefore belongs to severe smoking opposers.

Romanian smoke-free opposers welcome the country’s plan to prohibit tobacco use in enclosed public places.

Today in the country is in place an anti-smoking law adopted back in 2008 under pressure from the European Union. However, it is mild and quite permissive, because it prohibits smoking only in several public places such as schools, hospitals, hypermarkets, shopping malls, public transport. Smoking is allowed in bars, restaurants, clubs, discos. That is the reason why non-smokers were unhappy with the  existing anti-smoking law.

However, their voice was not heard by the authorities because the tobacco industry had a great lobby for their interests. It should be mentioned that tobacco taxes make a  large and important contribution to the country’s budget. As to bars and restaurants, they do not support smoking ban in their establishments because consider that will lose their clients.

Despite this, the Romanian parliament discusses the possibility to introduce new amendments to the anti-smoking law in order to make it tougher. They want a total smoking ban in public spaces.

Florin Mihaltan, president of the Romanian Society of Pneumology, said that now is the time to prohibit smoking in all public spaces such as beaches, kids playgrounds, workeplaces, sport venues. It will help to protect people from negative effects of secondhand smoke.

According to statistics, in Romania there are 73% non-smokers. However, numbers of young people using cigarettes are high.

After the tragedy in Colectiv nightclub, Romanian authories want to improve security in clubs by minimising potential fire risks.

As to smokers, they generally do not welcome the proposed anti-smoking initiative. Some say that they will try to quit because they used to smoke in bars.

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