In July 2006. Renato Mittermayer, from the Croatian Ministry of Health and Social care, stated there would be changes in the law to ban smoking from all public places in Croatia, including restaurants, night clubs and bars; according to EU regulation.

"It is unacceptable for the assistant minister to make public statements on behalf of the ministry, especially when he is telling lies and conveying his personal opinions. Next time he should keep his private thoughts for himself!" - Prime Minister Sanader reacted at the time. He also adding that "cabinet is not considering any legal measures against smoking."

Year and a half later, the leader of the HDZ party, together with soon to be coalition partners HSS and HSLS, are to create a final draft coalition agreement, announcing, among other resolutions, how banning smoking in public places will be first on the agenda for the new Government. This time Premier Sanader states he is insisting on it because "It's a concern for the public health."

The loudest opponents of proposed measures are restaurant and bar owners as they are anxious about smoking ban effecting their business (30% of Croatian population are smokers).

Sanader's political manoeuvring is now obvious. The smoking ban issue was too hot to be handled at the time of election and he simply left it on hold until Parliament elections were over, for his or some other new Government to deal with; as long as Croatia is "moving towards EU membership", where smoking in public places is already banned.

The Croatian Parliament is expected to adopt this law in first working sessions . "By the end of the year 2008 smoking will be banned in all public indoor spaces." - Sanader stated.

The amount of fines for smoking ban infringement is still not specified. In other countries the differences are significant, in Turkey this amount is approximately 200 EUR, while in Germany smoking ban fines go up to 5000 EUR.