Sofia begins checks of breaches of smoking ban after increase in complaints

Sofia’s health inspectorate has begun a campaign of checks of breaches of Bulgaria’s law against smoking in indoors public places after an increase in the number of complaints.

In June 2012, Bulgaria amended the law to ban smoking in all enclosed public places, including restaurants, bars and hotels.

According to the metropolitan health inspectorate, between December 5 and 12, inspectors carried out a total of 867 checks at 839 places, including 151 eating places, 22 institutions and 439 other places covered by the law.

Ten citations were issued, four to juristic persons and the rest to individuals – a barman, two managers, a chef, a waiter and a client.

Statistics released earlier this year by Bulgarian health authorities showed that several places were repeat offenders, preferring to pay fines and to continue to violate the law.

The June 2012 law provides for fines of 300 to 500 leva (about 150 to 250 euro) for smoking in enclosed public places, with fines for second offences ranging from 500 to 1000 leva.

For a sole trader, the fine is 1000 to 1500 leva, for second offences 1500 to 3000 leva. For juristic persons, the fines are 3000 to 5000 leva, and 5000 to 10 000 leva for second offences.

To report breaches of the law to Sofia’s health inspectorate, telephone 02/832 7111 (8.30am to 5pm on working days) and mobile phone number 0889 822 626 (24 hours).

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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