AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Almost as soon as it was discovered by westerners, tobacco smoking had its opponents. One of the most famous was King James I, who penned a famous ‘Counterblaste to Tobacco’ in 1604 condemning the habit in extremely strong terms.

In the 20th century, the link between smoking and illness was finally established by Dr Richard Doll’s work and governments have, since the 1960s, legislated to restrict tobacco’s sale and promotion.

Here’s a guide to some of the world’s smoking laws, which you’ll need to know if you’re a smoker and a traveller.


The legislators Down Under have been very tough on smokers. It’s banned in all workplaces, all airports and all government property. Most states have their own laws too, banning lighting up in restaurants and shopping malls. If you’re heading for the surfing paradises of Sydney, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you take out a cigarette on most of the city’s beaches. Freemantle has gone even further, banning smoking anywhere where food is eaten.


Smoking has been hit hard by Canada’s anti-tobacco campaigns, which included the first health warnings to feature graphic pictures of just what smoking does to our organs.


The Chinese are the world’s biggest smokers, but the country is now catching up with some of the western world in passing laws to restrict its 350 million smokers. The Beijing Olympics saw the country’s first indoor smoking ban. From 2011, the country announced a more comprehensive ban on smoking in public places.


France has similar smoking bans to the UK, with very heavy fines for transgressors – €450 for the smoker and €750 for the owners of premises who allow smoking to continue.


As a federal state, laws change across Germany. Eight of its states, including Berlin, banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2008. However, in response to opposition partly inspired by the Nazi’s earlier anti-smoking laws, bars can set up smoking rooms – Bavaria doesn’t allow this exception.


The history of smoking bans in public places has been troubled. When the first bans were introduced in 2002-3, the country just carried on lighting up. A new attempt was made in 2009, banning smoking in hospitals and schools as well as public vehicles and buildings. Restaurants can choose to be exclusively smoking if they want and larger establishments can have smoking rooms.


Over the Irish Sea you’ll come up against some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in Europe. Essentially, you can’t smoke in any public workplace and if you do you can be fined up to €3,000.


It’s a state-by-state picture in America. California is very tough, and has had smoking bans in place since 1993, that’s now been extended to cover all workplaces and beaches.

New York has had a bar, restaurant and club ban since 2003.


Bhutan, the famously isolated Himalayan kingdom, is the only country in the world to have banned the sale of all tobacco products. Not many inhabitants of the country smoke, and you can see why – in March 2011, a monk was jailed for three years after being caught with tobacco.

The best e-liquid E-cigarettes are proving a popular alternative to smoking for many tobacco users. They give the user a nicotine hit without having to set fire to anything or chuck a smelly cigarette end away. The laws on e-cigarettes are changing around the world, but in most countries you can circumvent smoking bans by using these electronic gizmos to get your nicotine.

About the Author: Derek Devlin has been interested in the smoking ban and the affects it’s had on countries for a number of years, partially because he’s switched to ecigs after reading blogs and getting a better understanding of how they work


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