Bulgaria’s parliament has adopted a total ban on smoking in indoor public places, after earlier attempts failed due to strong opposition from restaurant owners.
The ban, which was approved on Thursday and comes into force on June 1, has stirred discontent among many Bulgarians, at least 40 percent of whom are believed to smoke.
Bulgaria’s smoky restaurants and cafes are at the heart of the social life in this traditional, tobacco-growing country of 7.3 million people.
Many owners of such establishments fear the ban will scare away customers and ruin business in a European Union nation that already is struggling with an economic slowdown.
Keywords: Bulgaria smoking ban