Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Czech Republic: Further Smoking Restrictions Contemplated

(Sept. 4, 2012) It was reported in June 2012 that the Health Ministry of the Czech Republic was preparing to tighten the country’s anti-smoking legislation through the adoption of new measures protecting against damage caused by addictive substances. Under the proposed legislation, restaurants would be required to ban smoking unless they provide a separate room for smokers. (Ministry Prepares Stricter Anti-Smoking Measures, PRAGUE DAILY MONITOR (June 22, 2012).)

While the Deputy Health Minister for legislation, Martin Plisek, was quoted as saying, that “[s]moking on summer terraces and in gardens will not be restricted if they are not roofed,” Boris Stastny, the head of the health committee of the Chamber of Deputies, who was involved in drafting the legislation, called for a complete ban on smoking in restaurants, without any exceptions. (Id.) Should the total ban be imposed, it “would put the country on par with many of its EU peers,” Czech media were quoted as stating. (Czechs Mull Blanket Ban on Smoking in Restaurants: Report, EUBUSINESS.COM (Aug. 16, 2012).)

The draft legislation also newly introduces a complete ban on smoking in areas designated for childcare, according to Plisek. In addition, it provides for increased fines for violations of anti-smoking provisions. Violators would be subject to a fine of 5,000 Czech koruna (about US$252), instead of the current 1,000 crown levy. (Ministry Prepares Stricter Anti-Smoking Measures, supra.)

The current tobacco control law allows restaurants themselves to decide whether or not to allow smoking. It stipulates that restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars must post stickers at their entrances to clearly indicate whether or not they are smoke-free and must also provide separate areas for smokers and non-smokers. (Id.; Czech Republic, TOBACCO CONTROL LAWS [English translation of the Czech tobacco control law as last amended in 2008]; 379/2005 Sb. Zákon ze dne 19. srpna 2005 o opatreních k ochrane pred škodami pusobenými tabákovými výrobky, alkoholem a jinými návykovými látkami a o zmene souvisejících zákonu [Law No. 379/2005 of Aug. 19, 2005, on Protection Against Damage Caused by Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Addictive Substances] (as last amended by Act. No. 375/2011 of Nov. 6, 2011).)