Empty tables, grumpy customers, and worried owners were the common picture in nightclubs and bars during the first weekend of the full smoking ban in public spaces in Bulgaria.
According to the Cross news agency, lines of people smoking outside were seen near some of the most popular establishments in the capital Sofia with some of them having no more than 7-8 visitors inside during what was previously known as their peak hours.
"If this remains the same, we will soon go bankrupt," terrified owners are quoted saying.
...Many establishments in the Black Sea city of Burgas have stayed closed over the weekend over the lack of customers. Some of the most popular ones that remained open had only one visit in 12 hours while in others the staff, left without anything to do, organized karaoke parties for themselves.
Coming soon: A peer-reviewed study in Tobacco Control shows that the Bulgarian smoking ban has been a roaring success with nonsmokers flocking to bars in their millions.