Smoker-haven Bulgaria passes new no-smoking rules

Bulgarian prices stagnateSofia - Bulgaria, one of Europe's last smoking bastions, on Thursday passed a delayed-action law banning smoking in more public places, though leaving some breathing space to those who light up.

Starting in a year, smoking will be banned in offices, schools, cultural institutions and public transport. Smoker will, however, still have a place in cafes, restaurants and hotels on the Black Sea coast.

There is doubt however that new rules will be enforced any more vigourously than those already existing.

Bulgaria banned smoking in administrative buildings two years ago and prescribed mandatory no-smoking zones in restaurants and cafes, but this did not disperse clouds of smoke from those places.

Surveys say that 52 per cent of men and 38 per cent of women in ther Balkan country smoke regularly. (dpa)