Czech Smoking Ban Fails to Pass

After months of discussions, Czech MPs rejected the country’s long-debated ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants

Months (years?) of discussions proved fruitless on Wednesday afternoon when Czech MPs rejected the country’s long-debated anti-smoking legislation, reports 

Initially proposed last year as a carpet ban that would prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars, and pubs (more about that here), the bill had been watered down in recent months in an effort to garner increased support.

Amendments included the allowance of vaping in those venues, as well as smoking in establishments that did not serve food.

And earlier today, reports surfaced that the most-recent legislation would have allowed up to 25% of a restaurant’s “total floor area” to be a smoking zone.

Ultimately, however, it was all for naught – and the additional amendments, which totalled 240 (and extended to areas outside of smoking) might have dissuaded those initially in support of the bill.

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After three votes, the second of which passed, MPs ultimately rejected the legislation, with only 80 out of 172 deputies, less than half, in favor of the bill.

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42 deputies voted against the legislation, while the remaining – including most of the members of the KSČM and TOP09 parties – abstained. A breakdown of which politicians voted for and against the legislation, and who abstained, can be found here.

What does it all mean?

For the near future, at least, the Czech Republic will remain one of the few EU countries to allow smoking in pubs and restaurants.

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