The Czech government has approved a draft bill that will ban smoking in bars and restaurants. Previous governments have attempted to enact the same restrictions but ran into opposition, leaving the Czech Republic as the last EU member to allow unrestricted smoking in restaurants. One quarter of Czechs smoke, according to Eurobarometer.
“With this law, the Czech Republic will embark on a path where the majority of advanced western European countries have gone a long time ago,” said health minister Svatopluk Nemecek, after the center-left cabinet approved the measure. The draft bill must still pass parliament before it can be signed into law by President Milos Zeman.
Seventeen of the 28 EU states have a total ban on smoking in indoor public places, public transport and workplaces, and many other member states have restrictions on smoking in various places.
In addition to bars and restaurants, the proposed legislation would also ban smoking—including the use of e-cigarettes—at concerts and indoor entertainment and sports facilities.
The bill also includes a provision that requires bars and restaurants to offer at least one non-alcoholic drink on their menu at a price that is cheaper than the cheapest alcoholic drink.