Czech president, chain smoker, approves smoking ban in bars

PRAGUE (AP) — President Milos Zeman has put to an end the Czech Republic's status of one of the last havens for tobacco smokers in Europe.

Zeman, a chain smoker, signed into law on Tuesday a smoking ban in bars, restaurants and cafes after it was approved by both houses of Parliament.

It becomes effective on May 31, which is World No Tobacco Day.

Movie theaters, concert venues, exhibition halls and indoor sports settings would be banned from having separate rooms for smokers.

Unlike most of Europe, Czechs have remained tolerant of smoking. Right now it is up to restaurant owners to decide whether to allow or ban it.

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