• May 28, 2024

Czech bill passed in lower house

 Czech bill passed in lower house

LegislationThe Czech Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, and Health Minister, Miloslav Ludvik, have both welcomed the passage of a previously-rejected anti-smoking bill through the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, according to a Czech News Agency (ČTK) story. Deputies rejected the bill in May.

Sobotka said he was glad that the deputies had supported the bill on Friday, though he described as absurd the more than two-hour debate that took place before it was passed.

Ludvik, meanwhile, said he expected a stormy debate on the legislation in the Senate, the upper house, but that he hoped a “sensible healthy opinion” would prevail there as well.

The agency report said that, if passed, the bill would ban smoking in ‘all restaurants and other similar facilities’ as of the end of May, 2017. It would bring in too ‘further restrictions on smoking’ as well as on alcohol sales and consumption.

The approval of the bill was a victory for the protection of people’s health over commercial interests, Sobotka told reporters.

“We have sent a signal that the government really means its effort to include the Czech Republic among civilized countries that protect the health of their citizens and are also able to suppress other interests, for instance, commercial ones, because of it,” Sobotka said.

Ludvik told reporters that health protection had finally won over the tobacco producers’ lobby and interests.

“This is the best piece of news for the Czech Republic,” he said.