President Klaus infuriates doctors with stance on smoking-ban
President Klaus is famous for his views on Co2 emissions – namely that they are not responsible for climate change. Now, he has shifted his gaze to smoking, and angered other elements of the scientific community, suggesting that passive smoking might not be the health risk that it’s made out to be. As Czech MPs start debating whether smoking should be banned in the country’s restaurants, Mr Klaus has told the press that such a ban would deny smokers their rights, and that the effects of passive smoking are less dangerous than people say.
“I see it in exactly the opposite way, because the freedom to breathe fresh air and clean air seems to be more important to me.”
“I could hardly believe that he really said this. Passive smoking doesn’t just cause a bad smell, but also diseases and death. Since 1981, we have several thousand studies showing not only incidents of lung cancer in passive smokers, but also chronic obstructive bronchopulmonary disease and also many other diseases.”
Mr Klaus’s comments come on the eve of a parliamentary vote on whether smoking should be banned in the country’s restaurants. Kateřina Konečná is a Communist MP who will be voting on the bill. Despite being a heavy smoker, she is all for the ban. She explains why:
Mr Klaus may have angered scientists with his views on smoking, but he is far from being the only Czech opposed to a smoking-ban. Deputies have refused to support a ban on smoking in restaurants on a number of previous occasions and observers say it may be a long time before Czech lawmakers adopt the stringent laws in place in other European states.