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Slovakia softens smoking bill

The Slovak cabinet has softened its smoking provisions, Health Minister Rudolf Zajac told daily the SME. Paradoxically, it was the non-smoking ministers who had insisted on the softer provisions, he added.

Education Minister Martin Fronc objected to the smoking ban at dormitories and universities, and Labour Minister Ludovit Kanik rejected the proposal that the smoking and non-smoking areas at restaurants be separated by walls.

According to the TASR news wire, the minister, a former heavy smoker, appealed to all smokers to give up the habit - not because of tougher legislation or because of money, but because it can seriously damage their health.

The new legislation regulates three basic issues - fair advertising, larger space on cigarette packs for warnings about the harmful effects of smoking, and more limitations on where smokers can and cannot smoke - to make the law compliant with European legislation.

Slovakia has had a law protecting non-smokers since 1997; however, the EU has recommended the country make its provisions stricter.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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