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Ukraine's Indoor Smoking Ban Begins

18. December 2012 by Masha 0 Comments

Ukraine is one of the heaviest smoking nations in the world with 29% of adults, or 11 million Ukrainians, estimated to be regular smokers. Lawmakers are trying to curb the the deadly addiction by raising cigarette taxes, banning cigarette advertisements, and most recently, banning indoor smoking in public places. 


All restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs are now smoke-free, in addition to state buildings. 


Also, smoking is now banned in underpasses and even outdoors at bus stops, sports facilities, hospitals, educational institutions and playgrounds. Smoking areas in hotels and dormitories cannot exceed 10 percent of the entire premises.


According to a poll by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, most Ukrainians, including smokers, support the ban. Employees of restaurants are particularly pleased. 


Katya Troschyna, a hostess at TGI Friday's in downtown Kyiv, is a smoker but she'll happily hop outside to have a smoke. 


"I work in here 10 hours a day and it was hard to even breathe. It was too much smoke – even for me," she said. "Everything – my T-shirt, pants, hair – was filled with smoke."


She also hopes the ban will help her quit the unhealthy habit, saying, "I tried to quit many times... but when you are working, smoking is kind of like a rest. It’s relaxing."


Even the lawmakers themselves must comply with the ban. 


"Now we have one of the most progressive laws to preventing smoking," said Yuriy Miroshnychenko, lawmaker in the pro-presidential Party of Regions. "From now one, even lawmakers will have go outside the parliament if they want to smoke."


Source: Kyiv Post, Photo: ilco