Almost a quarter of Slovenians between the age of 15 and 64 smoke. The European Union member has 2 million citizens.
“Every day, 10 people in Slovenia die on account of smoking and we lose as much as 5 percent of gross domestic product or 1.8 billion euros on account of it,” Health Minister Milojka Kolar Celarc said.
The law, which was passed by 61 votes for and no vote against, will also prohibit advertising of tobacco products and showing those products on television shows and at public events aimed at under-18s.
Despite protests from the tobacco industry, countries including Britain and Australia have already enforced plain tobacco packaging.
(Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Alison Williams – Reuters)