Health Ministry withdraws effort to restrict sales of cigarettes

Cigarettes in Slovakia will most likely be sold as they now are in multiple kinds of stores, the SITA newswire reported, as the Health Ministry has withdrawn a proposed change in its draft law based on objections received from a number of parties.

Cigarettes in Slovakia will most likely be sold as they now are in multiple kinds of stores, the SITA newswire reported, as the Health Ministry has withdrawn a proposed change in its draft law based on objections received from a number of parties.

Originally the ministry wanted to restrict sale of cigarettes to a single point of sale or to one cigarette stand based on a revision to the law on protection of non-smokers. The ministry sought to better control the age of cigarette buyers and reduce the number of children smoking.

The Slovak Association of Commerce and the Tourism and Agriculture Ministry, as well as the Finance Ministry opposed the restriction, claiming that it would slash consumption of legally-produced tobacco products and increase illegal activities and fraud.

"Such restriction would increase evasion of tobacco excise tax and reduce income of the state budget from collected excise taxes on tobacco products," argued the Finance Ministry, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The Health Ministry also gave in to reservations about increasing fines for violation of the law on protection of non-smokers. The minimum fine was originally supposed to be increased from its current €331 to €3,319 but neither the Economy Ministry nor the Justice Ministry agreed, considering it inappropriate or even liquidating and therefore "predisposed to lead to corrupt behaviour".

The Health Ministry eventually cut the bottom limit of the fine to €500. An increase in the maximum fine from €3,319 to €15,000 remained unchanged in the proposed amendment.

The proposed draft bill has undergone a few more changes: a ban on smoking would apply to all facilities serving food, including those where meals are not prepared but delivered from other facilities and served. The ban on smoking would also apply to community centres as well as fairgrounds and all sports grounds.

The Health Ministry submitted the amendment for interdepartmental review at the end of May. If approved by parliament it will take effect in the beginning of 2012.

Source: SITA

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

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Here's what the across-the-board coronavirus testing should look like

The Defence Ministry introduced the basic steps of the planned testing.

Bratislava is testing special trolleybus

Public transport should become greener in the capital.

Bratislava borroved the hybrid trolleybus from the Czech city of České Budějovice for a week.

Teachers trust conspiracy media, they think the government is not handling the pandemic well

One-third of teachers think the coronavirus vaccination is a preparation for implanting chips, recent poll shows.

The school in Trenčianske Stankovce.

Ombudswoman, summer festival and a scientist. The awards for sustainable development have been granted

The Pontis Foundation awarded organisations, institutions and individuals for the second time.