The Romanian Parliament voted on 15 December 2015 on a total ban of smoking in enclosed public places and playgrounds. The law will be signed by the President, expectedly next week, and will enter into force 45 days after its publication in the Official Journal, e.g, first half of February 2016.
The places where smoking is banned include: enclosed public places, workplaces, ambulances, vehicles used in the course of work, all places used by voluntaries or personnel in homes or dwelling places, prisons, public transport facilities and playgrounds. Medical institutions, educational institutions and institutions designated for child protection and care, state or private own, are also covered by a complete ban, including spaces within and outside buildings (courtyards included). The definitions of such places are aligned with the recommendations of the Guidelines for implementation of Article 8 of the WHO FCTC.
The use of e-cigarettes is also banned in public transportation.
There are two exceptions from the total ban of smoking; one of them is prison cells in maximum security prisons. Secondly, in transit areas smoking is prohibited if they respect certain conditions at international airports.
The administrator of the public place has to abide by the internal regulation, which includes being held accountable for breaking the law. The smoker breaking the law is fined 100 500 lei (25 110 euro), while the penalty for an administrator of an enclosed public place is 5,000 lei (1,100 euro) at first breach. At the second breach the penalty is 10,000 lei (2,200 euro) and temporary suspension of the license, followed by a fine of 15,000 lei (3,300 euro) and closing of the public place at the third breach.
The compliance will be verified and the penalties will be applied by the police.
Other provisions of the law include a ban on the sales of the individual cigarillos and cigars (the sale of individual cigarettes is already banned since 2007) and on the sales of tobacco products in medical and educational institutions (previously, only the sale in hospitals was banned). Additionally, ministries of health, education, sports and youth, as well as, any NGO that is independent from the tobacco industry and has the objective to reduce tobacco use, is entitled to 30 minutes of weekly free air time on TV and radio for announcements aimed at preventing and combating the use of tobacco.
More information: Dr Magda Ciobanu, tobacco control focal point, Ministry of Health (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).