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Poland – Smoking ban 15/11/2010

KRAKOW TOURS – This month, Poland will become the 11th EU member state to ban indoor smoking in areas of work, following in the footsteps of the UK, Ireland, Holland, France, Italy, Slovenia, Latvia, Sweden, Finland and Bulgaria. The law is the result of an EU initiative that seeks to ban smoking within the EU in workplaces by 2012.

The national smoking ban in Poland was voted into the law registry on 14 May by the Sejm after undergoing a series of revisions. It goes into effect after six months in the law registry, on 15 November 2010. The first version was a complete ban on indoor smoking in workplaces; the fourth version, which passed with 217 votes for, 165 against, and 48 withheld, allows for smoking exceptions in designated, enclosed areas. The ban encompasses many former smokers’ havens, like bars, pubs, cafes and nightclubs. The exception: in places with two or more rooms, smoking can occur in one of them, so long as the area is separated from the other room(s) and has an adequate ventilation system (which bar owners have said cost between 20,000 and 50,000 złoty). In places of mass transit or service vehicles (such as taxis and buses), public places used for relaxation, children’s playgrounds, or at mass transit stops and stations, the smoking ban is in full effect.

The penalty for lighting up where it is prohibited is claimed to be a 500 złoty instant fine for the smoker. Business owners will be fined 2,000 złoty for failing to display information about the smoking ban in their venue or vehicle. As for whether Krakow bar owners will be fined for smoking on their premises, there is no information on that point as of yet. This has led to understandable frustration from business owners at the fact that little has been done to inform the public about such a possibly significant change. One source asked, “What am I supposed to do? Kick smoking clients out on the street?” A spokesman for the Municipal Police of Krakow, Marek Anioł, had no official position as of yet from the commander-in-chief on how to interpret enforcement of the law on this point.

So then the question remains, are people really going to stop smoking in bars? And if so, will that impact local businesses?


November 9, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Confusion over Poland’s smoking ban

KRAKOW TOURS – Poland’s new smoking laws, which are set to kick in mid-November, are causing major headaches for restaurant and pub owners.

The legislation, which is being viewed as a major U-Turn by the government, has left many in the dark with regards as to what exactly the laws are, and how they are to be enforced.

Smoking bans in public places are now common throughout most EU countries such as France, Spain and the UK. But the new Polish laws will allow premises with over 100 square metres some leeway with the option of including a separate smoking room for clientele, leaving a large number of clubs and restaurants unsure of where they stand.

Magdalena Potocki, manager of Restauracja Image, says that she was surprised by the introduction of the new law.

“For us, setting aside a separate room will be a problem. We will have to introduce a total ban.”

This kind of problem will hit a large number of Polish establishments, many of which fall short of the required 100 square metres. With the new laws still not entirely clear, small pub and restaurant owners are now worrying that they will lose customers to competition with larger floor space and that very soon they may be out of business.

November 1, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Joke of the day

KRAKOW TOURS – The lower house of the Polish parliament came to a very bewildering decision, this week, over the proposed bill banning smoking in public places.

The bill, that would have brought Poland in line with other EU countries, was amended very liberally by Sejm (the lower house of parliament) now allows the owners of pubs and restaurants to decide for themselves whether they allow smoking on their premises.

I ask, what is the point of having a law that allows owners to now do something that was, and is, surely their right anyway. Why not pass a bill that allows the public to either walk or take a bus, or allow motorists to drive a car of the colour of their own choice.

It’s a pathetic watering down of an EU policy, whilst I don’t agree with the majority of EU policies, i quite like this one and it’s a shame (from my point of view) that Poland has decided to waste this opportunity to make their many great bars and restaurants a more pleasurable experience for non smokers.

March 7, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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