On June 1st, amendments to the new anti-smoking law were effected in Russia. According to the law, smoking in cafes and restaurants is prohibited. However, restaurateurs have already found loopholes in the law not to lose smoking clients.
The adopted law does not prohibit smoking in outdoor cafes that have no walls and partitions. Respectively, according to the President of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia, Igor Bukharov, smoking on open-air verandas is allowed. According to experts, in the near future, restaurateurs will rush to turn all enclosed porches into the open ones.
Well-known Russian restaurateur Arkady Novikov believes, though, that the law prohibits smoking in outdoor verandas. Therefore, such actions of the restaurateurs violate the law. Lawyers, however, believe that the law can indeed be interpreted in two ways, and the Ministry of Industry should amend it accordingly to give a definite answer - whether it is possible or not to smoke on outdoor verandas. However, experts say that expensive restaurants allow smoking to customers even indoors, despite the ban: inspections to check the execution of the law will be carried out only 12 months later.