The Smoking Issue

Yesterday, flying in the face of what the rest of the civilised world is up to, Romania actually softened its existing anti-smoking rules. In fact, to all intents and purposes, there will soon be no more anti-smoking rules in Romania. This post – written in jest last year – could well become sound advice for the Romanian Ministry of Tourism. This really is the Smoking Section of Europe.

So what exactly happened yesterday?

Simple. The parliamentary committee tasked with finalising the wording of tough new anti-smoking legislation threw the law out of the window and came up with something completely different. Kind of.

You see, while smoking will – as planned – now be theoretically outlawed in all public spaces (that’s the bit which they will send to the EU), the owners of those public spaces will now be able to override the law and decide for themselves if a place is to be designated smoking or non-smoking. If a place decides to designate itself as a smoking venue (and let’s face it, they all will) under the new law it will not even have to have a non-smoking section.

Brilliant (and that written by a smoker).

6 thoughts on “The Smoking Issue

  1. I’m pretty much of the opinion that it should be up to the owner of an establishment to decide the rules on smoking. If there is a demand for non-smoking only, then surely the market will fill that niche.

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    1. This issue always causes a conflict between my libertarian instincts and my wish to take the kids out for lunch and not have them come home reeking of cigarette smoke. More than that though this story just struck me as wonderfully obtuse in the way that the MPs had managed to take a law and completely change its meaning while keeping it – in name at least – much the same.

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    2. Yea, I agree. And I’m a non-smoker.

      I think the situation has improved dramatically over the last years, ventilation equipment is available in most of the city’s decent premises, smoke is not anymore a major problem.

      However, if you’re taking your kids out for lunch…

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  2. Ok fair enough but I wish Romanians who choose to smoke in public places would not complain when I frequently let rip with foul smelly farts in their faces.

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    1. I think you should stick to peeing on trees, here in Romania the culture of farts is not that spread as it is in the West, farting in a public place is a reason for everyone to pretend he doesn’t know you. For life.

      Or worse – to be kicked out where a bodyguard is available.

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