According to a Belgrade-based daily publication, Serbia will next year enact new legislation to ban smoking in all enclosed public places.
This new law will be set out through fresh amendments made to the current regulations on Protection of the Population from Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, which will also mean that all restaurants, bars, and cafes will be required to abide by the amendments.
If the reports are true, then customers will only be able to smoke in open designated ‘gardens’, which adds that “smokers will no longer be able to use even the special ventilated rooms that now exist in many cafes in shopping malls.”
The current law allows smoking in bars, restaurants and cafes larger than 80sq meters where owners are able to set aside a minimum of 50 percent of the space for smokers.
A Health Ministry official heading an expert commission for prevention of smoking, Srmena Krstev, said the new legislation will mean a total ban in all working and public places, and make only “small concession” in psychiatric hospitals, social protection facilities and prisons, where smoking will be allowed in designated rooms, but only to patients and inmates.
In 2016 Serbia will also ban production of menthol-flavoured “slim cigarettes”. There is a suggestion that the new change in law could spark an upsurge in the sales of e-cigs and e-refills.