HERE are the answers to the questions most frequently put to the Bulletin by local business owners about the new anti-tobacco law, which came into force on Sunday. The health ministry has set up a consultancy service, CRIDA, which will answer questions on the new law and drug addiction in general. It can be contacted at telephone 902 075 727.
l Can you smoke at the bar in bars, restaurants or cafes? Yes, providing the owner has decided that these are the smokers' areas.
l Can a customer demand a table in a smoke free zone in a bar, restaurant or cafe? Yes. This was confirmed by the minister in June, before the law came into force.
l What happens if there is no smoke free zone? The customer can demand that people stop smoking. The law says that it is forbidden to smoke in these establishments, unless there is a clearly marked smokers' area.
l What is the minimum area which should be reserved for non-smokers? The law does not specify one.
l What is the minimum space between the two areas? This is not defined in the law.
l What if a non-smoker is not happy with the separation and is still bothered by the smoke? The non-smoker cannot complain about the smoke or ask that smoking not be allowed, providing the smokers keep to their own area.
l What can small bars (30 square metres) do to stay within the law? They must provide a smokers' area. However, if the premises are so small it is not possible to guarantee a smoke free area, the rights of the non-smokers prevail.
l Can you smoke on the terrace of a bar or restaurant? Yes, even if a non-smoker complains.
l Is it necessary to install screens or air extractors to guarantee that smoke does not invade the non-smokers area? No, the law does not demand this.
l Can you smoke in the rest rooms of bars and restaurants? Only if the owner has decided that these areas will be for smokers.
l Is smoking allowed in taxis? No because they are public service vehicles.
l Can people smoke in non-smokers' areas at the work place if there is no one there at the time, even if nobody sees them? No. l What about smoking in clubs? This is allowed as they do not serve food. The same applies to bars which do not serve or handle food, even if the premises are enclosed, and in bingo halls. Non smokers cannot complain.
l Do hotels have to guarantee smoke free areas? This is not covered in the law, but most of them do not allow smoking in communal areas, and the bars usually have a smokers' area.
l Can civil servants demand smokers' areas in the work place? No, smoking is banned in all government buildings, and the ban applies even to the staircases and hallways. Smokers must leave the building in order to smoke. Smoking is allowed in private companies, but only in the areas reserved for smokers.
l Can the area where workers take their break in a private company be designated a smokers' area? If it is a place where food is consumed, there should be two clearly separated areas. If the area is too small for this, smoking will be allowed only if no workers complain.


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