Cross-party support for easing of smoking ban

Eighty-six deputies from eight parties in the lower house have put their signatures to a proposal to loosen a ban on smoking at Czech pubs, restaurants and other facilities introduced last year. The amendment has been written by Marek Benda of the Civic Democrats and envisages the creation of separate smoking areas with their own ventilation systems in hostelries and other spots.

Mr. Benda’s proposal would also allow bars of 80 square metres or less to decide themselves whether to allow smoking or not.

The smoking ban came in at the end of May last year, bringing the Czech Republic into line with many other EU states.