Ban on smoking in public places entered into force in Poland. Poland became the latest EU country to introduce such a ban. The ban came into force on 16 November 2010.
To date, Poland is among the 10 EU member states where smoking in public places is enshrined in law. Henceforth, in Poland, as well as in Germany, Croatia, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland and other countries, smokers cannot smoke in restaurants, cafes and bars. Among the sites in Poland, which fall under the prohibition are: airports, stadiums, railway stations, schools and museums.
At the same time smokers in Poland have a possibility to enjoy tobacco. It may be done if the institution has a special room, which should be well ventilated, and which should be clearly marked as a place for smoking. At the same time most of the institutions are likely to abandon to equip such rooms as this will inevitably cause great financial spending.
At the same time for cafes and restaurants separate rooms for smokers will be needed if they want to keep their clients. Percentage of smokers in the general population of Poland is very high and bars are forced to take into account the requests of many customers.
Under the new law individuals and organizations can be punished for ignoring it. In case of violation the company will have to pay a fine of 2,000 PLN, and individual citizen – 500 PLN.
As the adoption of smoking bans in other EU countries, the ban on smoking in Poland caused massive debate in the society. A number of representatives of Polish public believe that the smoking ban violates individual liberty.
It is expected that the next EU country after Poland, where the smoking ban will be established by law, will be Spain. Here a complete ban on smoking in public places is planned to be introduced on January 2, 2011.