The Senate received a petition against the smoking ban, signed by more than 23,000 people. The upper house is obligated to address the petition in its future meetings. Jiří Oberfalzer, Chairman of the Mandate and Immunity Board, took over the petition on Wednesday.
According to the organizers, the petition’s goal is to repeal the absolute smoking ban in all pubs and restaurants, which have all reported a decrease in customers and are on the verge of bankruptcy since the ban went into effect. Deputy Chairman Jaroslav Kubera, who once suggested the revocation of the ban in all pubs, supports the petition. “The law is going over the edge. Instead of finding a way for two groups of people to not bother each other, they implemented a radical solution,” states Kubera.
In March, some senators, including Jaroslav Kubera and Ivo Valenta, suggested the revocation of the smoking ban in pubs or the sales of alcohol in vending machines. According to the senators, the anti-smoking law, valid from the end of May, limits citizens’ rights. The senators also suggested that the law will hinder investment plans of thousand of restaurant and bar owners. Senators did not call for a complete revocation of the ban; their suggestions concern some of its provisions.
An absolute smoking ban is in effect inside restaurants, theaters, and cinemas. The law also banned smoking at public transport stations and the use of e-cigarettes in hospitals, schools and shopping centers, as well as the sale of cigarettes in vending machines.
Senators further suggested provisions, which will hold pubs responsible for the damages an intoxicated person causes. They will also limit the sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at children’s events.