Rules That Smokers Need To Be Aware Of; Home and Abroad

Believe it or not, each country has their own laws on smoking – and in the case of the USA, the laws vary per state and sometimes even city – it can get very confusing. We’ve given some examples of smoking laws below, but it’s always worth doing your homework before travelling, if you’re a smoker, to ensure you’re not breaking any local laws. The last thing you want to do is ruin your holidays by getting arrested for smoking somewhere you’re not allowed. And if all else fails and you’re unsure, just don’t smoke.

Ireland

This is where the smoking laws originated from, with Ireland being the first country to introduce total smoking bans and most countries around the world then following suit. The law was the first to see smoking within the workplace made illegal, with rule breakers facing a fine of up to €3,000.

The UK

It’s completely against the law to smoke indoors anywhere within the UK, except for your own home (or the homes of friends & family who also smoke). It was also made illegal at the end of 2015 to smoke within a vehicle if there are children/teenagers under the age of 18 present. You can smoke in most public places, but it is also against the law to drop your cigarette butts and, if caught, you face a fine of £80 for littering (increasing to £2,500 if taken to court). It’s thought that we have some of the world’s toughest smoking laws here in the UK.

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Bars within Europe

Some countries within Europe still allow smoking within bars – although it varies upon country whether they have to have designated smoking rooms or can choose to have the entire venue as a smoking venue (a lot of the time it depends on the size of the venue) – but these countries include; Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Portugal and Romania.

Slovakia

We wanted to include the Slovakian laws because they’re slightly bizarre… bars and restaurants are allowed to have smoking areas indoors, as long as they don’t occupy more than 50% of the overall floor space, and smoking is only banned in work places where “non-smokers” work – although there’s speculation that this is open to interpretation, leaving enforcement slightly tricky (we’re not sure how, but OK).

Austria
Similar to Slovakia, the rules are a little odd in Austria… you’re allowed to smoke indoors in most places, as long as the smoke doesn’t penetrate the non-smoking areas, and you’re allowed to smoke in your workplace as long as you don’t have any contact with your clients. This is set to change slightly though, with laws coming into effect in 2018 that will see smoking in bars and restaurants made illegal.

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The USA

There are 10 states within America that have not introduced any general state-wide bans on smoking in any non-government-owned spaces – these are Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

As a smoker, it’s worth doing your research before heading out to the States though to understand the smoking rules for the states and cities that you’ll be visiting as they can vary greatly. Some states even go as far to ban smokers from smoking in outdoor public spaces.

It’s all very confusing, but if you’re in the States and you’re unsure of the smoking laws you can either do a Google search or, to be safe, try not to light a cigarette until somewhere you’re positive you can smoke without getting into trouble.

Australia

Oz is considered, alongside the UK, to have some of the toughest smoking laws within the world. For example, you can’t smoke in a vehicle with children (although we totally understand this), you can’t smoke in enclosed public spaces, and many of the local councils have banned smoking on the beaches and at most sports grounds – there are huge fines for those who don’t obey these rules.

So there you have it… just some of the logical and slightly odd smoking laws around the world that it can help to know.

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Found in Health Awareness