Azerbaijan getting ready to introduce ban on smoking in public places
A bill ‘On restriction of the use of tobacco products’ will be brought to a vote in Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament) in the near. The bill has been already considered and approved by 2 parliamentary committees – the Committee on Labor and Social Policy and the Human Rights Committee.
According to Hadi Rajabli, the Chair of the Labor and Social Policy Committee, the bill specifies the places where smoking is banned. These are, in particular, educational institutions, the places for holding sports tournaments and other mass events, commercial facilities, public food outlets, hotels, medical institutions, underpasses and overpasses, transport and other public places,” the ‘Report’ news agency reported.
Employers may allocate separate smoking areas, whereas in other parts of the office or enterprise there should be a smoking ban sign or inscription. Smoking areas should be equipped in accordance with the requirements of sanitary and hygienic standards.
The ban also prohibits broadcast of children’s radio programs, films and TV programs, as well as stage performances, openly demonstrating smoking of cigarettes and tobacco products. As far as stage performances, radio programs, films and TV programs for adults are concerned, demonstration of cigarette smoking should be accompanied by anti-smoking social ads.
According to the Committee Chairman, the bill is based on the experience of Turkey and Russia.
The bill has become a subject to lively discussions on social media. Here are a few comments:
“That’s a right decision! It’s a common practice worldwide. I’m a non-smoker and I can’t stand cigarette smoke. Why should I go to a restaurant, a club or any other recreation place and inhale that cigarette smoke. Why should there be the odor of cigarette smoke on my clothes, I pay as much money for recreation as the smokers do, don’t I !? You want to smoke? Then you’d better go outside, on a balcony, to a specially allocated area, and smoke there as much as you wish!”
“It’s not quite a right solution to the problem. A smoker would like to smoke while eating or drinking and if a restaurant has such a possibility, then separate halls should be arranged. It’s ridiculous even to consider a non-smoking restaurant option, since in this case the restaurant will sustain serious losses.”
“It’s probably the best news over the past 5 years,”