No Smoking in Prague? Yeah, right.

So, Prague’s powers that be have apparently started cracking down on smoking in public places. A new law banning smokers from lighting up their cancer sticks at “bus, train and tram stops, schools, cinemas and theatres, sports halls and administrative buildings.”

So, in order to grab a little PR, some cops busted some poor bloke on the outskirts of Prague for lighting up at a bus stop. Wow, that’s pretty Clint Eastwood, innit? Who’s defining exactly where the bus and tram stops begin and end? And does that mean that train stations will no longer have designated smoking areas out on the platforms like they do at the Main Train Station in Prague? I kind of doubt that.

At the same time, the anti-smoking laws are supposedly looser in restaurants as “it allows smoking during main meal times although this was banned under the former no-smoking rules.”

As someone trying to quit, I was really hoping that these laws would be as tight as they are in, say, Ottawa or California, or that they would at least ban smoking in restaurants. I’ve always felt a strong urge to deck people smoking at a table beside mine while I’m eating.

At the same time, I’m enough of a realist to accept the fact that strict anti-smoking laws in Prague, and throughout the Czech Republic, are a pipe dream for at least the next few years.

Added on 04.01.2006
Here’s more on this story. Way to build public awareness! The cops will inevitably get fed up with bothering people at bus and tram stops with warnings and start shaking them down for “fines” of less than the requisite 1000 koruna. Actually, now that I think about it, what am I wasting my time translating for? Jitka and I should just invest in police uniforms and cash in at public transit stops all over town. Or better yet, we’ll just claim to be undercover, so all we’ll need is badges. I can say I’m an expert from Ottawa overseeing the whole non-smoking operation… yeah, that’s the ticket.

Oh, and apparently this, ahem, “law”, chuckle, also “permits the sale of 10 degree bear during sports events”. Are we talking grizzly, kodiak, polar, or just your average brown? (Sorry Prague Monitor and CTK – I couldn’t resist)

Jan 3, 09:34 (Filed under: Prague media, Out and About in Prague )

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