Serbia Introduces a Very Tough Smoking Ban

Serbia, a country ridden with economic crisis and unemployment has another crisis to handle- the ban on smoking. The news of the ban came as a shocker to the tobacco loving Balkan nation where more than one adult out of three is addicted to cigarettes- a part of their daily routine.

The ban that was imposed on Thursday restricts smoking in public areas like institutions and buildings, schools, social care institutions, buildings used for cultural and sports activities, and media buildings. However, the Serbs are allowed to smoke in the restaurants and cafes.

Any deviation from the law will be severely fined from 5000 Dinars to a million Dinars for companies who violate the law.

Ana Jovicevic of the Health Ministry said the inspectors would impose fines even if they found a single cigarette butt on the premises of the companies. Instead the firms are suggested to construct a smoker's area at the workplace.

"This is really drastic that we have to go out in the street to smoke," complained Nada Jevremovic, an employee in Serbia's National Museum.

Also Jevremovic and her colleagues were said to be standing outside the museum building in downtown Belgrade early Thursday as all of a sudden they failed to get going with their morning coffee and cigarette ritual indoors.