The Czech government has approved the ban on smoking in cafes and restaurants from 2016, paving the way for the country to fall in line with the rest of Europe.
The bill needs approval from the parliament and President Milos Zeman though the center-left cabinet of Prime Minister Bohulsav Sobotka has approved the bill unanimously.
AdvertisementHealth Minister Svatopluk Nemecek said, "The Czech Republic is currently an island where it is possible to smoke in places where it's almost impossible elsewhere in Europe."
A Eurobarometer poll from 2012 reported that 29% of Czechs smoke and the EU has 28% smokers.
The restaurant ban will also apply to electronic cigarettes. Smoking has already been outlawed in most public places in the country since 2005. Smokers found breaking the law could be fined up to 5,000 koruna (180 euros, $200) while restaurants could be hit with up to 50,000 koruna.
National measures differ considerably in extent and scope though all EU countries have adopted measures to protect citizens against exposure to tobacco smoke.