A quick one (we are far too busy for this time of year): Bucharest is no longer Europe’s smoking section.
Romania’s parliament today voted to ban smoking in all indoor public places, as well as hospitals, schools and any outdoor spaces where children may be present (playgrounds, etc). The pro-health bill must now be signed into law by President Klaus Iohannis, something of a formality we would assume: the law has massive public support and sending it back to parliament would be political suicide.
Now, the million-lei question: Will the law be enforced?
We think so. While individuals caught smoking where they shouldn’t will be fined between 100 and 500 lei, it is venues which allow smoking that will be hit hardest. Substantial fines of between 5000 and 15,000 lei await venues whose patrons are found puffing away. Places repeatedly caught turning a blind eye to smokers will be forced to close. This should ensure that the law will be enforced by business owners themselves.
PS The law was tacked on today’s parliamentary business at the very last moment, almost certainly in order to give the evening news bulletins a story to lead with that was not related to the events going on outside the building.