I remember many, many years ago a friend of mine moved to Prague and when she came back she told me how incredibly smoky all the pubs and restaurants were there.
Eastern Europe has some of the heaviest smoking rates in all of Europe and some of the most lax smoking laws
Well, the Czech Republic finally joined most of the First World by finally banning smoking in bars and restaurants. According to the Washington Post, Slovakia is now the only EU member nation that does not have any national smoking ban.
Violating the ban is a stiff fine — the equivalent of $190. Ouch!
From the Washington Post:
“Most Czechs approve the ban, but a group of lawmakers have challenged it at the Constitutional Court.
Jakub Storek, owner of the Cafe Liberal in Prague — a popular hangout among local smokers — said he opposed the ban.
“It’s hard to predict the impact at the moment,” he said. “But I guess it would be different clients coming here in the future.”
Stepan Ourecky said he would still come, but may light up outside the cafe.
“Or perhaps, I will smoke less,” the 18-year old student said.”
Only a few countries in Europe still allow indoor smoking. Portugal has weak smokefree laws and another is Austria, which is going completely smokefree in 2018. Most of the other non-smokefree countries are in the former Yugoslavia.