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A new law proposal drafted by the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and Austrian Social Party (SPÖ) will take into force in Summer 2015.
The law proposes a bonus for cafes and restaurants which voluntarily ban smoking before the May 2018 deadline – the value of which will be related to previous costs in setting up smoking and non-smoking areas.
Austrian Health Minister Sabine Oberhauser said that the new smoking ban will be a historic contribution to improving people’s health.
In Austria, smoking is banned in public places under a 2009 law but restaurants and cafes are exempted and the government admits that the legislation is not tightly enforced.
According to European statistics, Austria is one of the worst smoking country in Europe, and has been criticised by international organisations for its lack of anti-smoking policies. It is one of the countries in Western Europe where cigarettes are cheapest.
Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN News, Austria
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