Smokers to be separated in cafes and restaurants

An amendment to the Non-smokers Protection Act under which facilities that prepare and serve food must build a solid wall dividing smokers from non-smokers was approved by parliament on February 17.

An amendment to the Non-smokers Protection Act under which facilities that prepare and serve food must build a solid wall dividing smokers from non-smokers was approved by parliament on February 17.

The owners of facilities that serve only drinks can choose whether to be smoking or non-smoking. Of the 137 MPs present in the chamber, 111 voted for the bill, the TASR newswire wrote.

The bill, which was drawn up by the Health Ministry, does not introduce a complete ban on smoking as proposed by opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) MP Tatiana Rosová. A proposal by Milan Urbáni (Movement for a Democractic Slovakia (HZDS)) to ban the sale of tobacco products was also unsuccessful.

Facilities preparing and serving food will have to provide non-smoking sections as of September 2009. These must be divided from the smoking section by a solid wall, take up at least half of the area of the establishment, and be located near the entrance. If the owners decide not to create such a section they will have to introduce a complete ban on smoking. Facilities that fail to comply with the law could be fined up to €3,319 (Sk100,000) or even face closure. Cigarette vending machines will also be banned. TASR


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

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