After nearly five hours of deliberation and arguments for and against the proposed measure, the anti-smoking legislation that was green lighted by the lower house in December, has now been passed by the Czech Senate.
The Senate, the upper house of Parliament, voted yesterday to approve, without modification, a smoking ban in bars, restaurants, and cafes throughout the Czech Republic.
Movie theaters, concert and exhibition halls, and indoor sports venues would be banned from having separate rooms for smokers.
The bill also prohibits smoking on travel platforms, the use of electronic cigarettes in hospitals, schools, and shopping centers, and the sale of cigarettes in vending machines, unless the machine can prevent sales of tobacco to minors.
Beer gardens are not included in the ban; smoking areas may be present in shopping malls and airports as well.
The Law on Protection of Health from Harmful Effects of Drugs now proceeds to president Miloš Zeman whose signature is required to make the ban complete.
Zeman reiterated yesterday he would not veto the ban.
The final draft was signed off by 45 of 68 present members of the upper chamber.
The bill would take effect from May to coincide with World No Tobacco Day on May 31.