The new proposal calling for a total ban on smoking in restaurants is being examined in Parliament.
The government has proposed setting up separate booths for smokers, where no drinks or food would be served. Moreover, customers themselves would not be allowed to bring drinks or food into the smoking areas, either.
The Parliamentary Employment and Equality Committee has nevertheless been considering whether to permit customers to bring their drinks to smoking rooms, as the outright ban would be difficult to monitor.
The purpose of the proposed amendments to current smoking legislation is to protect restaurant personnel from exposure to second-hand smoke, while leaving a possibility to set up separate smoking areas for those patrons who do smoke.
The Committee has also been considering technical solutions to collect empty glasses from smoking rooms so that restaurant employees would not be exposed to ambient tobacco smoke.
The Committee is likely to put forward its own proposal for the tightening of the current tobacco legislation next week, even though no solution to the issue has been found as yet.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is to prepare a final proposal on new smoking legislation and to bring it before Parliament.