Serbia introduces tough smoking-ban

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Serbia introduced tough anti-tobacco measures Thursday designed to curb the habit in a country where more than one in three adults smoke.

The law bans smoking in state institutions and buildings, schools, social care institutions, buildings used for cultural and sports activities and media buildings.

The ban covers all public and work spaces as well as many entertainment venues, with fines from 5,000 dinars (46.8 euros, 64 dollars) for individuals to one million dinars for companies and managers breaching the law.

Smaller bars and cafes can decide to be smoke-free or not, while bigger ones, as well as restaurants have to provide a non-smoking space that would occupy more than a half of the premises and be properly ventilated.

The law, which also bans smoking in outside yards and balconies of health and social institutions, open-air theaters and cinemas and state offices, was adopted in May, to be applied after six months in order for consumers and enterpreneurs to adjust.

Companies are allowed to provide a smoking area, but also to introduce anti-tobacco measures in all other spaces.

Ana Jovicevic of the Health Ministry said the inspectors would impose fines even if they found a single cigarette butt on the premises.

A coffee-and-cigarettes culture is widespread in Serbia, where 33.6 percent of the population of more than seven million smoke.

an/sb/cw

 

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