Romania bans smoking in all public spaces

Bucharest: Romania on Friday banned smoking in all indoor public spaces, including workplaces, and in all indoor or outdoor child-related facilities.

President Klaus Iohannis on Friday signed the new anti-smoking law that bans smoking at all public places, Xinhua reported.

By adopting the new law, Romania joins the current 17 of 28 EU states to have completely forbidden smoking in all enclosed public locations.

Restaurants, bars, and clubs will be most affected after the law enters into force.

The ban could also lead to a drop in cigarette sales, a major contributor of taxes.

The current anti-smoking law bans smoking only in certain public spaces, including shopping malls, on public transport, hospitals and schools, but allows smoking in restaurants, bars and clubs.

According to local analysts, the tougher new law was much delayed due to intensive lobbying from tobacco companies, and from restaurant and bar owners, who feared their businesses would be hurt by the ban.

Some one in four adults in Romania smoke, over 4.4 million people, while at least double the number of people are subjected to second-hand smoke at home and at work, local studies show.

Under the new law, individuals who do not respect the rules will be fined 100 to 500 lei ($24 to $120), while the establishments that break the law will be fined 5,000 to 10,000 lei as well as risk having their operating licenses suspended.