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PODGORICA (Montenegro), August 14 (SeeNews) - Montenegro's ban on indoor smoking at public and working spaces is entering into force on Wednesday, according to the recently adopted law on limiting the use of tobacco products.
The new law bans smoking at any indoor public and working spaces, as well as in any areas where food and drinks are served, including coffee houses, bars and restaurants.
Montenegro's parliament adopted the anti-smoking ban on July 31. It was published in the August 7 edition of the State Gazette and takes effect on the eighth day after the publishing, according to the online version of the edition.
Still, in case an owner wants to arrange a separate area exclusively for smoking, the law gives clear instructions on how this could be done in terms of isolation, area, location and equipment. Prior to the adoption of the smoking ban, owners of cafes, bars and restaurants were allowed the use of tobacco in their premises for a monthly fee of 1 euro per square metre.
In June, health minister Kenan Hrapovic said that the adoption of the new law automatically suspends the previous legislation on collecting fees for the use of tobacco products in catering premises. He added that the government has collected only 2.7 million euro in proceeds from this type of tax in the past seven years since it has been in force.
Hrapovic also said that smoking in casinos (at present only five in Montenegro) is exclusively allowed in the new law, considering the specific needs of the games-of-fortune industry.
He noted than some 400 people get diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the Adriatic state of some 620,000. According to 2015 data, the medical treatment costs some 70,000 euro ($78,240) per patient.