TALLINN – The usual Friday-night fog of cigarette smoke in Estonian pubs may become a thing of the past if the government-approved bill – the Law on Tobacco – is passed by Parliament.
Pursuant to government plans, the new law, which apart from banning smoking in public places will also set new requirements for tobacco product package and advertising, will go into force beginning May 1 of this year.
Government officials said that the goal of the law is to provide the population with proper health protection measures. The EU-style "smoking kills" sticker, which takes up half the space on the cigarette packages, is part of the bill and is there to better inform people about the health risks, officials said.
Other innovations in the bill will aim to restrict sales and promotion of tobacco.
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, there are about 350,000 people who smoke every day.
Estonia tightened its smoking regulations in January 2001, when pubs and other public eateries were obliged to have a section for nonsmokers and a proper ventilation system. Smoking in public places such as territories and buildings of schools, hospitals and others was banned. Office buildings were also obliged to have a special room for smokers.