The laws in the UK about where you can and can’t smoke are very clear. The fact that they are backed up with specific laws on the display no smoking signs it seems we all know where we stand. But do we when we go to other countries? Smoking laws vary all around the world, here is how a few other countries deal with smoking:
Some of the World’s toughest anti-smoking laws are in place in Australia and before many other countries too.
Smoking in cars carrying children is banned in all Australian states, as is smoking in enclosed public places and restaurant.
Check the rules of the local council before you light up on the beach. Many are quick to enforce hefty fines for risk takers.
It is also thought that a packet of cigarettes in Australia are among the priciest in the world.
In Austria some workplaces still allow smoking, but that is only if no employee working in that enclosed space has an objection to it.
In 2009, it became prohibited to smoke in restaurants, bars, discos and pubs, well the ones that are larger than 50 meters squared. For those that are smaller, it is up to the owner. The are entitled to opt for it to be either a smoking or non-smoking establishment.
Due to ambiguity in the smoking laws and them not being adequately upheld, 2018 is set to see more changes. From May 2018, smoking will not be permitted in any restaurants, bars, discos or pubs. It is only hotels that will be allowed to have a smoking room.
It wasn’t until June 2015 that China placed a smoking ban in all public places of its capital city Beijing. A little behind the times you might think since the UK became smoke-free in July 2007.
In a city of over 4000 smokers, the ban is going to be hard to enforce, although the size of the fine should be a deterrent. Companies are set to be fined up to $1,600 and individuals up to $200.
Each federal state in Germany is governed by different smoking laws. Some which are very strict and others which are more relaxed. It is only approximately 40% of the German population that are governed by a smoking ban in all public places, which could soon include their own balconies. I am sure it won’t be long until all the federal states are brought into line.
Ireland was the global leader in introducing smoking bans, making smoking prohibited in enclosed workplaces punishable by fines of up to 3,000 euros.
Most establishments have designated smoking areas that are outside on the pavement or in a garden. Don’t be thinking of dropping your fag butt though, there are also hefty fines for littering!
Ireland became and example and many countries worldwide soon followed suit.
Slovakia as some of the strangest smoking laws, probably because they can be difficult to interpret. We will try:
Smoking is still permitted in almost all open public areas, aside from children’s playgrounds. Smoking is banned on trains, although they do still have designated smoking carriages, and all other public transport.
Smoking is also banned in schools and universities, theatres and cinemas. Restaurants are still only partially non-smoking, the smoking area can still take up 50% of the floor space. The majority of pubs still allow smoking, however, this means that they are unable to sell food.
In Slovakia, you have to be aged 18 or over to buy cigarettes. With almost a third of its population counted as smokers, smoking still poses great health risks.
2006 saw the first smoking restrictions put in place in Spain which restricted smoking the workplace but left restaurants and bar open to choose whether to ban smoking.
Tighter restrictions were introduced in 2011 when smoking was restricted in all indoor public places such as restaurants, cafes and bars. However, Spanish hotels are still able to allocate 30% of their rooms as smoking rooms.
In order to spare children from secondhand smoke, smoking is also prohibited in outdoor areas such as children’s play areas, childcare facilities, schools and hospitals.
Companies stand to be shut down if they continually disregard these smoke-free rules.
Festivals, bull fights and sporting stadiums are under consideration for the next round of smoking bans.
Have you come across any unusual smoking bans on your travellers. Please share them with us in the comments.