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Hungary to extend public smoking ban

Hungary’s government is prepared to dust off a motion first raised in 2007 and ban smoking from all hospitality locations, restaurants, bars and party places, online portal Origo reports.

According to the site, the motion will be presented to Parliament shortly and will take effect within the year.

The previous government has already made attempts to make the step, following the example of several other countries, but the motion was quietly dropped, allegedly due to efforts made by the tobacco and hospitality lobbies. The interest groups claimed that if passed, the measure would greatly impact the performance of both industries and consequently lead to a notable drop in paid tax revenues.

Now, there is apparently unity in the government, as the proposition reportedly enjoys the backing of the governing Fidesz party’s group of representatives as well as the state secretary in charge of healthcare.

Anti-smoking measures in Hungary have gained momentum, with the recent introduction of a smoking ban in public transportation stops in Budapest.

Official records show that 26% of female and 40% of the male Hungarian population smoke.