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
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