A full public places smoking ban comes into force on June 1st 2010. Yes, this is the best news I’ve heard for ages.
You can be sure of my position on this. No smell of stale smoke here.
And I will make my point and promotion right now on my support for this ban… AllÂ apartment owners advertising here on Bansko Blog have specified the “no smoking” condition. That’s why they all smell fresh and clean when you arrive. Take a look here: http://banskoblog.com/bansko-accommodation/.
For the health of bar and restaurant workers, and for the health of residents, the full public smoking ban in all restaurants, pubs, clubs, cafes and bars will be enforced as no smoking places – officially as of June 1 2010.Â The final Cabinet decision, was approved in a second reading on Thursday, May 21 as part of projected amendments to health legislation.
I’ll look at the success of the UK and Ireland ban and, apart from the negative impact on business for some pubs, there’s no doubt that restaurants, pubs and cafes are more pleasant places to visit.
But is this no smoking news too good to be true?
I ask this quaestion because the respect for law in Bulgaria could probably not be measured. As its so small.
Widespread corruption from Police to the courts means that there may just be a few problems in enforcing this ban. A ban where the smoking per head is the second highest in the world.
Smoking Olympics: And The Winner Is…?
A country where, if smoking was an Olympic sport, it would be gold medals every time to Bulgaria. A country where for some its normal to eat food in alternate turn with a drag on the permanently lit cigarette.
I have been to meeting where overÂ 20 cigarettes have been consumed in an hour and a half. It really can be bad – although forward looking restaurants, such as The Victoria, have had no smoking sections for some time. And surprisingly they have been enforced nad popular with a growing number of both smoking, and non smoking, Bulgarians.
The Politics Of Smoking
The official announcement as per Sofia Echo said:
“The Cabinet rejected the proposal of the Turkish led Movement of Rights and Freedom (MRF), Ramadan Atalai, who suggested that the ban should be enacted as early as June 1 2009.
As part of the amendments, a special inspectorate task force will be established, under the medical inspection branch, which will be entrusted with ensuring that the ban is properly upheld.
The amendments to the Health Act, passed on second reading today, will be welcomed by a large section of the population, but it will inevitably draw flak from businessmen who fear that the new legislation would spell the end of their livelihoods and contribute to unemployment in Bulgaria, which would be highly undesirable during an economic downturn.
Tourist organisations, hotels and other industry-related enterprises have repeatedly stated that a thorough ban is unhealthy, and that a steady, systematic approach should be implemented first.Â “A gradual process rather than a complete ban is a lot more sensitive,” said Blagoi Ragin,Â president of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA), as quoted by Bulgarian news agency BTA on April 16.
“Prohibition would squeeze the turnover of bars and restaurants by 30 per cent, and many of the smaller establishments will face collapse,” Radin warned, as reported earlier by The Sofia Echo. “Bulgaria should combat smoking but should apply an integrated, comprehensive and reasonable approach instead of going to extremes,” he said.
“Turnovers will slide down by 30-40 per cent; smaller restaurants would be better off closing down straight away,” they said. “It would be far better if employers start paying bonuses to non-smoking workers,” Ragin was quoted as saying by Standart daily.”
What Do You Think?
Will the smoking ban be enforced? I know that for Bansko for a large majority of UK and Irish visitors this ban will be hugely popular. But for Greek, Romanian, Turkish, Macedonian, Serbian, Russian visitors I’m less than sure.
I just wonder if they wil find loopholes, or simple bribery, to get round this ban. The most enterprising loophole in the UK was to set up a smoking only room — and run it for scientific research purposes! All smokers in the smoking room have to fill in a form about their smoking habits: and then smoke away.
One thing is for sure… this smoking ban is too good to be true. Don’t get me wrong I’m delighted – but right now I am as acertain as I can be that only some establishments will enforce this. Having said this, they said the same in Ireland. So hope I’m wrong.