Police remind smoking is banned in many public places in Latvia

For many years, in Latvia, it has been prohibited to smoke in cafes, parks, educational institution areas, public transport stops and many other public places. According to Riga Municipal Police (RPP), more than 300 smoking-related violations were detected in the capital in 2023, reports Latvian Television's 4. studija.

RPP communications specialist Ērika Verze said smoking restrictions are imposed by the Law On the Handling of Tobacco Products, Herbal Products for Smoking, Electronic Smoking Devices and Their Liquids. It sets out a plethora of places where smoking is banned.

“These are parks, squares, facilities of educational institutions, their adjacent areas, apartment building staircases, also on multi-apartment balconies if any of the residents of the house reasonably object to it, also children's playgrounds, workplaces and also closer than 10 meters from the entrance of the buildings of state administration institutions and capital companies,” Verze told LTV.

With the smoking process itself lasting a few minutes, it's not easy for police to catch the offender red-handed. Verze said the RPP mostly controls smoking restrictions on calls received: “It must be recognized that it is impossible to catch absolutely every smoker. Of course, we also find v[violations] ourselves, more so during the summer period, when residents spend time outdoors.”

Last year, the RPP found more than 300 violations related to violating smoking bans.

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