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'Smoking haven' Czech Republic eyes ban in bars

The Czech Republic may lose its place as one of the last havens for tobacco smokers in Europe.

The parliament's lower house has voted 118-23 to approve a smoking ban in bars, restaurants and cafes.

Electronic cigarettes are excluded from the ban, but it applies to regular cigarettes in all indoor spaces.

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

Unlike most of Europe, the Czechs have remained tolerant of smoking.

It is currently up to restaurant owners to decide whether to allow or ban it.

The Bill still needs approval from parliament's upper house, the senate, and President Milos Zeman, who is a chain smoker.

AP

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