The icy hand of Bloombergism extends its reach :
Pro-smoking protesters rallied Thursday in front of the Bulgarian parliament in Sofia holding banners that read “Ban Increases Number of Smokers,” and “Equal Rights for Smokers and Non-Smokers”.
Protesters demanded repeal of the a partial ban that obliges hospitality establishments to separate areas for smokers and non-smokers - and denounced calls to extend the ban to a complete prohibition on smoking in closed public spaces.
The rally, which mustered several hundred people, was co-organized by the Bulgarian Association of Hotel and Restaurant Owners.
Meanwhile, restaurants and bar owners in Bulgaria staged a symbolic “empty tables” protest to highlight what they say is the adverse effect of the existing ban on their businesses.
They said the state should inspect implementation of smoke-free areas, but a full ban would effectively kill off their businesses.
Bulgaria ranks among the top five European countries in terms of smoking rates, both in the general population and among the young.
via Helen Rittelmeyer