The Lower Chamber adopted on Tuesday the draft law that bans indoor smoking in all public spaces. The law will now go to promulgation. The legislative proposal dates back from 2011 and was modified on November 16 through several amendments proposed by PSD MP Aurelia Cristea. The most important amendment concerns the definition of indoor public space.
The draft law was adopted with 164 votes in favour and 20 votes against. There were 26 abstentions.
The text of the law was modified on Friday within the Lower Chamber’s Health Commission, during a brief session convened immediately after the health ministry’s budget was discussed in order for the draft law to be sent to the final vote within the plenum before the end of the parliamentary sitting. The draft law was introduced as a supplementary item on the order of the day on Tuesday, at PSD’s proposal.
The members of the commission thus adopted a report that eliminated the amendment that “bans the display of tobacco products in public chokepoint areas.” The notification had been filed by the Competition Council and was the reason invoked when the law was suddenly taken off the order of the day on November 25.
The legislative proposal was modified on November 16 based on several amendments brought by PSD MP Aurelia Cristea. The most important amendment concerns the definition of the indoor public space and basically leads to the banning of indoor smoking in almost all public spaces. The exceptions are high-security penitentiaries and the transit areas of international airports, where special smoking areas will be arranged. Likewise, smoking will not be allowed in playgrounds or other spaces for children, irrespective of whether they are indoor or outdoor spaces.
Moreover, the use of e-cigarettes will also be banned in those areas.
Indoor smoking in medical, educational and child protection and childcare institutions, public and private, will be completely banned.
In what concerns the enforcement side, fines will range from RON 100 to RON 500 in the case of physical persons, and from RON 5,000 to RON 15,000 plus suspension or shutdown of activity in the case of juridical persons.
The draft law defines public space in the following manner: “Indoor public space is any space to which the public has access, or any space meant for collective use, irrespective of the form of ownership or access rights, which has a roof or ceiling and at least two walls, irrespective of their nature or their temporary or permanent character.”
Likewise, the draft law points out that “in the transit area of international airports smoking is allowed only in specially arranged rooms,” on certain conditions.