<p><b>Compliance control mechanism of balcony smoking ban enforcing is not clear yet</b></p> <p>Latvian government at the beginning of the New Year will consider suggestions of Ministry of Health about smoking restriction that provide for by law to prohibit smoking on house balconies and loggias.</p> <p>These suggestions were supported by the Cabinet committee. Suggestions foreseen to provide local self-governments right to restrict severely smoking on their territory.</p> <p>Before government session Health Ministry was instructed to coordinate with Ministry of the Interior method of controlling these restrictions and application of administrative penalties for their infringement. Minister of the Interior Rihards Kozlovskis on committee session has shown one more time that Police cannot fulfill these functions.</p> <p>Earlier Ozolnieks council after dwellers' complains has prohibited smoking on balconies, but Ministry of environment protection and regional development has cancelled its' decision as appropriate amendments to legislation are necessary for this.</p> <p>Amendments that were worked out stipulate smoking ban on balconies, loggias, stair cases, halls and other places of common use in apartment blocks, public buildings and constructions, closer than 10 meters of their entrances. Law in force prohibits smoking on stair cases, in halls and places of common use in apartment blocks. Amendments to the law about restricting sale, advertising and consumption of tobacco products have been already approved by council of Ministries' state secretaries in February 2012, but against them protested Latvian Employers' Confederation and Three-way Cooperation National council and Ministry of Internal Affairs has required to stipulate that additional smoking restrictions shouldn't be controlled by state Police. At the end of June draft law was reconsidered on council of Ministries' state secretaries. Law in force prohibits smoking on stair cases, halls and other places of common use in apartment blocks.</p> <p>According to amendments, self-government has right to issue rules that determine additional restrictions or prohibitions for smoking on entire territory.</p>