The trend towards not smoking in Europe

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The list below shows the current and planned policies regarding smoking in public in various countries in Europe. Note that in many, various versions of legislation are still being debated and challenged in courts. In general, however, most countries in Europe still allow smoking in bars and restaurants but require separate smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Currently, smokers will be most at home in Austria, Germany, Greece and Portugal because their laws do not yet entirely ban smoking inside restaurants. In the Netherlands, enforcement is lax. Throughout Europe, smoking is still allowed in the outdoor seating areas of cafés.

Austria — There is a ban on smoking in public buildings and aboard public transport. Hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants are still exempt, with suggestions for nonsmoking areas.

Belgium — There is a ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces. As of 2007, restaurants, bars and cafés may allow smoking if there are separate smoking and nonsmoking areas.

Cyprus — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections to comply.

Czech Republic — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Denmark — There is a ban on smoking in schools and government buildings open to the public. Individual policies apply to public transport. A ban on smoking in bars and restaurants is proposed, but there is no law yet.

Estonia — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport (unless a separate enclosed smoking area is provided). Effective June 5, 2007, there will be a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, but each can provide a separate, enclosed and ventilated smoking room to comply.

Finland — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Small bars and restaurants are exempt from the ban, while larger bars and restaurants must provide smoking and nonsmoking sections to comply.

France — A ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport took effect in February 2007. Bars and restaurants have until 2008, then they will be included in the ban, with exemptions only for those with enclosed smoking sections.

Germany — No smoking bans yet. Some legislation is being considered.

Greece — There is a ban on smoking aboard public transport only. Other legislation is being considered.

Hungary — Smoking is banned in workplaces and public spaces except in “designated smoking areas.” Smoking is banned on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Iceland — There is a total public smoking ban on public transport and in any area with children. As of June 2007, smoking will be banned in all restaurants, bars, cafés, pubs and nightclubs.

Ireland — There is a total smoking ban in all public spaces, public transport, bars and restaurants unless a designated smoking room is provided. Hotel rooms, prisons and psychiatric hospitals are exempt.

Italy — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Latvia— There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport unless there is a separate, designated smoking area. Bars and restaurants can divide a 50/50 smoking and nonsmoking section to comply.

Lithuania — As of Jan. 1, 2007, smoking is banned in restaurants, bars, clubs and discos (pipe and cigar clubs are exempted). A more complete ban on smoking in public spaces is scheduled to take effect in 2008.

Luxembourg — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Malta — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces, public transport, bars and restaurants unless they have a specially constructed, enclosed and ventilated smoking section.

Netherlands — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces, public transport, hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés unless there is a separate, designated smoking area.

Norway — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces, public transport, restaurants, bars and cafés unless there is a separate designated smoking area.

Poland — There is a ban on smoking in any enclosed public space.

Portugal — There is a ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces, including theaters and cinemas. Smoking is banned on public transport if the trip is less than one hour. There is a partial ban on smoking on domestic air transport.

Romania — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Slovakia — There is a ban on smoking in schools, health facilities and social facilities. Only places serving food must provide separate smoking and nonsmoking areas. Bars and cafés not serving food can allow smoking.

Slovenia — There is a ban on smoking in hospitals and schools. Bars and restaurants can divide smoking and nonsmoking sections to comply. A total ban on smoking in all public spaces is under consideration.

Spain — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Small bars and restaurants are exempt from the ban but must post a sign indicating whether they are smoking or nonsmoking. Larger bars and restaurants must provide smoking and nonsmoking sections to comply.

Sweden — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces (including sports and cultural venues). Hotels must provide some nonsmoking rooms. All restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos and dance clubs are smoke-free unless there is an enclosed, separate smoking room where no food or drink is served.

Switzerland — There is a ban on smoking aboard all public transport (taxis are exempt, but most are smoke-free). There are partial restrictions on smoking indoors in government facilities and workplaces. Some cantons have smoking restrictions on restaurants and bars, but it varies from canton to canton. In the canton of Ticino, a public smoking ban goes into effect in April 2007.

U.K. (England) — A total smoking ban in all public spaces goes into effect in summer 2007. Hotel rooms, private vehicles and private homes are excluded.

U.K. (Wales) — A comprehensive ban on smoking in all public spaces goes into effect April 2, 2007. It’s similar to England’s in exemptions and inclusions.

U.K. (Scotland) — There is currently a ban on smoking in all enclosed public spaces, including bars, pubs and restaurants.

U.K. (Northern Ireland) — A comprehensive ban on smoking in all public spaces goes into effect April 2, 2007. Exemptions for pubs and restaurants are currently under debate.

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The list below shows the current and planned policies regarding smoking in public in various countries in Europe. Note that in many, various versions of legislation are still being debated and challenged in courts. In general, however, most countries in Europe still allow smoking in bars and restaurants but require separate smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Currently, smokers will be most at home in Austria, Germany, Greece and Portugal because their laws do not yet entirely ban smoking inside restaurants. In the Netherlands, enforcement is lax. Throughout Europe, smoking is still allowed in the outdoor seating areas of cafés.

Austria — There is a ban on smoking in public buildings and aboard public transport. Hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants are still exempt, with suggestions for nonsmoking areas.

Belgium — There is a ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces. As of 2007, restaurants, bars and cafés may allow smoking if there are separate smoking and nonsmoking areas.

Cyprus — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections to comply.

Czech Republic — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Denmark — There is a ban on smoking in schools and government buildings open to the public. Individual policies apply to public transport. A ban on smoking in bars and restaurants is proposed, but there is no law yet.

Estonia — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport (unless a separate enclosed smoking area is provided). Effective June 5, 2007, there will be a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, but each can provide a separate, enclosed and ventilated smoking room to comply.

Finland — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Small bars and restaurants are exempt from the ban, while larger bars and restaurants must provide smoking and nonsmoking sections to comply.

France — A ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport took effect in February 2007. Bars and restaurants have until 2008, then they will be included in the ban, with exemptions only for those with enclosed smoking sections.

Germany — No smoking bans yet. Some legislation is being considered.

Greece — There is a ban on smoking aboard public transport only. Other legislation is being considered.

Hungary — Smoking is banned in workplaces and public spaces except in “designated smoking areas.” Smoking is banned on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Iceland — There is a total public smoking ban on public transport and in any area with children. As of June 2007, smoking will be banned in all restaurants, bars, cafés, pubs and nightclubs.

Ireland — There is a total smoking ban in all public spaces, public transport, bars and restaurants unless a designated smoking room is provided. Hotel rooms, prisons and psychiatric hospitals are exempt.

Italy — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Latvia— There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport unless there is a separate, designated smoking area. Bars and restaurants can divide a 50/50 smoking and nonsmoking section to comply.

Lithuania — As of Jan. 1, 2007, smoking is banned in restaurants, bars, clubs and discos (pipe and cigar clubs are exempted). A more complete ban on smoking in public spaces is scheduled to take effect in 2008.

Luxembourg — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Malta — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces, public transport, bars and restaurants unless they have a specially constructed, enclosed and ventilated smoking section.

Netherlands — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces, public transport, hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés unless there is a separate, designated smoking area.

Norway — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces, public transport, restaurants, bars and cafés unless there is a separate designated smoking area.

Poland — There is a ban on smoking in any enclosed public space.

Portugal — There is a ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces, including theaters and cinemas. Smoking is banned on public transport if the trip is less than one hour. There is a partial ban on smoking on domestic air transport.

Romania — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Bars and restaurants can have divided smoking and nonsmoking sections.

Slovakia — There is a ban on smoking in schools, health facilities and social facilities. Only places serving food must provide separate smoking and nonsmoking areas. Bars and cafés not serving food can allow smoking.

Slovenia — There is a ban on smoking in hospitals and schools. Bars and restaurants can divide smoking and nonsmoking sections to comply. A total ban on smoking in all public spaces is under consideration.

Spain — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces and on public transport. Small bars and restaurants are exempt from the ban but must post a sign indicating whether they are smoking or nonsmoking. Larger bars and restaurants must provide smoking and nonsmoking sections to comply.

Sweden — There is a ban on smoking in public spaces (including sports and cultural venues). Hotels must provide some nonsmoking rooms. All restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos and dance clubs are smoke-free unless there is an enclosed, separate smoking room where no food or drink is served.

Switzerland — There is a ban on smoking aboard all public transport (taxis are exempt, but most are smoke-free). There are partial restrictions on smoking indoors in government facilities and workplaces. Some cantons have smoking restrictions on restaurants and bars, but it varies from canton to canton. In the canton of Ticino, a public smoking ban goes into effect in April 2007.

U.K. (England) — A total smoking ban in all public spaces goes into effect in summer 2007. Hotel rooms, private vehicles and private homes are excluded.

U.K. (Wales) — A comprehensive ban on smoking in all public spaces goes into effect April 2, 2007. It’s similar to England’s in exemptions and inclusions.

U.K. (Scotland) — There is currently a ban on smoking in all enclosed public spaces, including bars, pubs and restaurants.

U.K. (Northern Ireland) — A comprehensive ban on smoking in all public spaces goes into effect April 2, 2007. Exemptions for pubs and restaurants are currently under debate.