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Smoking ban in Prague inches closer to reality

The bill will go to the Senate, who could make it law by May 2017.

By BOHEMIST STAFF

PRAGUE – Smoke ’em if you got’em. A smoking ban in Prague’s pubs and restaurants took one large step toward becoming reality this week after the lower house of Parliament approved a bill introducing the measure, according to local media.

The wildly unpopular bill came at the hands of the newly appointed Minister of Health, Miloslav Ludvik, who defended the measure as a necessary step in protecting public health, especially that of a young generation who has taken to excessive tobacco and alcohol abuse.

The Czech government has for years contemplated the measure with no success. In May, members of Parliament rejected long-debated anti-smoking legislation that would have only allowed openly smoking in bars that don’t serve food, while allowing just 25% of a restaurant’s “total floor area” to be designated as a smoking zone.

The most recent draft law was a hard fought battle that is absent of a provision that bans smoking in street cafes and in cars with child passengers.

After passing the lower house, the bill will now be put in front of the Senate, who would make it enforceable by May if it passes.

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