Amendments to the Bulgarian Health Act Submitted for Public Discussion

Amendments to the Health Act submitted by the Health Ministry were published for public discussion. Some of them include a total ban on cigarette smoking, hookahs, and electronic cigarettes on a non-tobacco basis, in indoor public places, tourist sites, restaurants and entertainment places.

A new definition of the term "indoor public space" is introduced and it means: "any space covered by a roof and surrounded by at least three walls/sides, regardless of the presence of openable windows or other openings, the material used for the roof, the walls/sides and regardless of whether the structure is permanent or temporary".

Expanding the circle of control bodies that identify violations is proposed in the changes. In addition to cigarettes, they will now also sanction the use of non-tobacco water pipes.

Along with alcohol and cigarettes - electronic cigarettes, refillable containers, which are tobacco-free will no longer be sold to children as well. It is also envisaged to introduce a compulsory administrative measure for the shops that sell these products to people under the age of 18 - stopping the operation of the place for a certain period of time in case of a repeated violation.

The one-month deadline for the public discussion of the bill will expire along with the summer vacation of the parliament.

Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova is a journalist, believer, and traveler.

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