Ashtrays are back on tables and counters in 41% of bars and clubs where smoking is illegal, according to the latest health and safety inspectors report.
Two years ago, just 17% of cafes and bars had ashtrays available in defiance of the ban, introduced in July 2008.
Taking small bars where the ban has been lifted into account, some 52% of bars, cafes and discos no longer ban smoking, the inspectors say. In addition, 22% of cafes and clubs now have a separate smoking room.
In total, inspectors have handed out 1,108 fines for breaking the ban in the first three months of this year. The fine for a first-time offence is €300.
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