Smoking in Croatia could soon become more difficult. The European Union are threatening to crack down on the Croatian law on smoking stating that it should be in line with EU directives.
It is forbidden to smoke in establishments where food is served, expect in designated smoking areas for which the owner of the restaurant has obtained permission from the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health has recently closed ten restaurants in Zagreb that failed to follow this law. However it would appear that more restaurants and cafes in Croatia are flouting this law. Sanitary inspectors are closing these establishments but only for eight days, whereas according to EU directives they should close them down for a month for the first offense and six months if the offense is repeated.
The Ministry of Health has now stated, probably due to pressure from the EU, that inspectors will from now on close establishments for longer periods. The European Commission had demanded that Croatia fall in line with the new law restricting the use of tobacco and related products by May of this year.
Given the fact that Croatia hasn’t yet complied with every directive there could be a chance that the European Court of Justice will get involved. By the 20th of May 2017 all cigarette packets in Croatia must carry photographic warnings on the hazards of smoking.
Around 31 percent of Croatians smoke, which along with Greece, is a record inside the European Union and the average smoker in Croatia lights up 26 cigarettes a day.