Ukraine bans smoking in public


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The Independent Online

Ukraine's parliament has banned smoking in most public places ahead of the Euro 2012 football championship in June.

MPs today approved a law to make smoking in schools, colleges, hospitals, restaurants, museums, and public places such as buses illegal.

Smoking in airports, hotels, dormitories and company offices will be allowed only in special smoking zones.

President Viktor Yanukovych now has 10 days to either sign the bill into law or send it back to parliament.

Smoking is rampant in Ukraine, where thick cigarette smoke can be seen at bus stops and even on children's playgrounds. Some 22% of Ukrainians over 12 are smokers, according to the Health Ministry.

Ukraine is co-hosting the championship with neighbouring Poland and is striving to bring its laws in line with European standards.