Despite the constantly rising prices of cigarettes (a pack now costs around 5 lv in a country with a minimum salary of 310 lv), Bulgarians remain passionate smokers.
An extensive smoking ban was introduced on June 1, 2012, causing a fierce debate. The law that prohibits smoking in all public spaces (but not on bus stops, streets, and in parks) has remained weakly enforced.
Most nightclubs and an increasing number of restaurants tolerate smoking, especially after midnight.
After the 2013 elections, the newly formed government announced its intention to overthrow the smoking ban, citing an alleged economic damage to the Bulgarian tourism industry. The initiative was not signed into law, but resulted in even weaker enforcement of the ban.
Smoking in taxis has been forbidden for several years but, for the most part, both drivers and passengers have ignored this. When ordering a taxi, you can specify that you would like a non-smoking driver.
Hotels continue to offer smoking rooms.