Bulgarian lawmakers have decided to impose smoking ban in all enclosed public spaces from June 1, which includes cafes, bars and restaurants, regardless of size.
The small Balkan country, home to Europe's second-heaviest smokers after Greece, already banned smoking in all government buildings, public transport, trains, cinemas, schools and kindergartens in 2005.
AdvertisementBut bars, cafes and restaurants were allowed to have separate smoking and non-smoking sections, while establishments smaller than 100 square metres (around 1,100 square feet) could choose whether to be either.
The new ban, approved on a first reading in parliament, now moves to close this loophole.
According to health ministry data, about 44 percent of Bulgaria's total population of 7.4 million are regular smokers, who caused an uproar against all previous attempts to impose a total ban.