A ban on smoking in indoor and some outdoor public places came into force on June 1, 2012 in Bulgaria. Until now, smoking was banned in hospitals and schools, kindergartens, public transport and partially indoor. From 1 June it must stop in all enclosed public spaces, the workplace and all spaces of support and service use in the office, as well as at a number of outdoor public places. People will no longer be allowed to smoke on sidewalks adjacent to nurseries, kindergartens, schools, student dormitories and places which provide social services for children.
You cannot smoke in playgrounds (though the Act does not give precise definition of what a playground is), in places where activities for children and students are organized, in sports facilities, open theaters, cinemas and at sporting and cultural events.
A friend of mine, a worker at a Dallas Translation Services Agency, who is coming next week to Bulgaria, asked me: “Where can I smoke, then?”. Well, some parts of the new act are quite obscure, but it seems that you are allowed to smoke at home and in your car. My friend has discussed the act with his colleagues from the San Francisco Translation Services Agency and said that they have arrived at the conclusion that basically, places without walls do not fall within the definition of the law so he can smoke in the street, except he is near a kindergarten, school, etc. It is probably so, it seems legal requirements do not apply to the terraces of the hotels, restaurants, offices and the beach, so you can also smoke in the open areas of restaurants and cafes. You can also smoke at the bus stops, except in the underground. As regards the airports – the act envisages the provision of special ventilated smoking boots, but there are no such at Sofia airport yet.