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Health Minister vows to ban smoking

Hungary, which tops the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's list for deaths from lung cancer, plans to join the group of countries which have banned smoking in closed public places.

In a press conference in Budapest, Health Minister Ágnes Horváth said that the Health Ministry is drafting a smoking ban similar to clampdowns in Ireland and France. Hungary has 60.5 deaths from lung cancer per 100,000 citizens, compared with an OECD average of 37.4. More than 30% of the Hungarian population uses tobacco, higher than any OECD country except for Greece, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Horváth said, “We plan to join the list of European countries where you can't smoke in closed public places under any circumstances. We want to promote self-care and individual responsibility.” The minister announced the plan at a press conference outlining the year's top priorities for her junior governing party, SzDSz. (