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Ban on public puff ahead of Euro 2012

Published:Friday | May 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP):

Ukraine's parliament has banned smoking in most public places ahead of the Euro 2012 football championship in June.

Lawmakers yesterday approved a law to make smoking in schools, colleges, hospitals, restaurants, museums, and public places such as buses illegal. Smoking in airports, hotels, dormitories, and company offices will be allowed only in special smoking zones.

President Viktor Yanukovych now has 10 days to either sign the bill into law, or send it back to Parliament.

Smoking is rampant in Ukraine, where thick cigarette smoke can be seen at bus stops and even on children's playgrounds. Some 22 percent of Ukrainians over 12 are smokers, according to the Health Ministry.

Ukraine is co-hosting the championship with neighbouring Poland and is striving to bring its laws in line with European standards.