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Bulgaria imposes full smoking ban in public places

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May 17, 2012, 2:14 p.m. | World — by Associated Press
SOFIA — Bulgaria's parliament has adopted a total ban on smoking in indoor public places, after earlier attempts failed due to strong opposition from restaurant owners. The ban, which was approved on Thursday, May 17 and comes into force one June 1., has stirred discontent among many Bulgarians, at least 40 percent of whom are believed to smoke.

Bulgaria's smoky restaurants and cafes are at the heart of the social life in this traditional tobacco-growing European Union country of 7.3 million.

Many owners of such establishments fear the ban will scare away customers and ruin their businesses, already struggling because of the economic slowdown.
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