Know : Smoking Bans & Rules across Countries

smoking-room-ceilingSome countries have no legislation restricting smoking whatsoever; these include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, and a number of other countries in Central and Western Africa. Rest all other countries has bans as follows (alphaphetically arranged)

Smoking bans by country


A law went into effect on 30 May 2007 restricting smoking in closed public areas and outlawing the advertisement of tobacco, although the measure has reportedly been poorly enforced in the country.


Since 2004, smoking is prohibited in government buildings, educational facilities, hospitals, enclosed sport facilities and buses. In 2010, an increase in restrictions at restaurants, bars, and workplaces was under discussion.

Andorra introduced a smoking ban in all public places on 13 December 2012. However, an exemption was made for bars and restaurants, allowing special smoking rooms so long as they fulfill strict conditions: such as not serving food and drink.


A 2006 smoking ban in Buenos Aires city prohibits smoking in public areas including bars and restaurants except if the bar is more than 100 m2 where it is possible to provide an area for smoking customers. Similar bans in other Argentine cities require bigger establishments to provide a separate, contained area for smoking customers.

Argentina introduced a ban on smoking in all public places on 1 June 2011.


A law went into effect in March 2005 prohibiting smoking in hospitals, cultural and educational and mental institutions and on public transportation. On 1 March 2006 new rules came into effect requiring all public and private institutions, including bars and restaurants, to allow smoking only in special secluded areas. Absence of any legal sanctions against those who violate the smoking laws have made them completely ineffectual.


In Australia, smoking bans are determined on a state-by-state basis. In chronological order by state:

  • South Australia: Smoking prohibited in all indoor dining areas since January 1999. Banned in all enclosed public places since November 2007.
  • Western Australia: Incremental restrictions introduced from January 2005 with a comprehensive total restriction upon smoking in all enclosed public spaces taking effect from July 2006.
  •  Tasmania: Total indoor smoking ban in force since January 2006. From January 2008 the regulations were extended to include smoking in cars with passengers under the age of 18.
  • Queensland: Comprehensive smoking ban in effect since July 2006. Smoking is prohibited in all pubs, clubs, restaurants and workplaces, commercial outdoor eating and drinking areas, outdoor public places, and within 4 metres of non-residential building entrances.
  • Australian Capital Territory: A restriction upon smoking in enclosed public places has been in effect since December 2006.
  • Victoria:  A restriction upon smoking in enclosed public places has been in effect since July 2007. It is also an offence to smoke in a vehicle where there is a person under the age of 18 present, since January 2010.
  • New South Wales: A restriction upon smoking in all enclosed areas of restaurants, licensed clubs and pubs came into force in July 2007. From 1 July 2009, smoking in a car with a child under the age of 16 is against the law. The Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008 creates a new offence of smoking in a car with a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle. A $250 on-the-spot fine applies to the driver and any passenger who breaks the law. This is enforced by NSW Police.
  • Northern Territory: A restriction upon smoking in all enclosed areas of restaurants, licensed clubs and pubs came into force in 2 January 2010.


Austrian law limits or bans smoking in certain areas:

  • Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public spaces with certain exceptions for eating and drinking establishments. Smoking in the workplace can be permitted if no employee working in the enclosed space objects.
  • A January 2009 law mandates that all restaurants, bars, discos, and pubs larger than 50 m² must either be non-smoker or introduce separate smoking rooms. Below 50 m² the owner may opt to either make the establishment a smoking or non-smoking place. The law provided for a long transition phase ending July 2010. The smoking ban has since been a subject of controversy, as the rules are widely ignored by bar owners and not actively enforced by the authorities. Anti-smoking campaigners claim to have filed 18.000 reports with the authorities on non-compliant businesses since the bans were introduced, to little effect.
  • Smoking was banned on trains and railway stations when Germany introduced a similar smoking ban in 2007.


Bahrain outlawed smoking in public places on 27 February 2008.


  • 2005: Companies should have implemented smoking plans to discourage smoking.
  • January 2006: Smoking prohibited in the work area.
  • January 2007: Smoking prohibited in restaurants and bars, except in those that serve “light meals” (e.g. cold meals, pizzas and warm meals that are served with bread instead of French fries) and have less of 30% of their sales from food servings. Small bars are also not included in the regulations. Larger bars, such as concert venues, should enforce the regulations although the initial experience was variable.
  • September 2008: Smoking no longer allowed in schools.
  • January 2010: A general smoking ban that included all types of bars had been discussed but was watered-down to a set of regulations that apply only when food is served.
  • July 2011: On 15 March 2011, Belgium’s Constitutional Court ruled that the discrimination between bars serving food and those not serving food (and casinos) distorted competition and that, as a consequence, the partial exemption had to end by July 2011, thus banning smoking in Belgium’s bars, restaurants and casinos without exemptions.


As of 1 October 2006, smoking is banned in all enclosed workplaces in Bermuda, including restaurants, bars, private clubs and hotels.


Following a resolution of the 87th session of the National Assembly on 17 December 2004, a national prohibition upon the sale of tobacco and tobacco products went into effect, but importing limited tobacco would still be permitted with very heavy taxes. Smoking in all public places in Bhutan became illegal on 22 February 2005. It thus became the first nation in the world to outlaw this practice outright. However, there is little enforcement. Cigarettes are widely smuggled, and bars in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu are usually smoky.

The National Council decided on 10 July 2009 to lift the bar upon the sale of tobacco and tobacco products while discussing the tobacco control bill.

The council, with a majority, agreed to delete the section C in chapter three of the bill, which says, “No person shall sell tobacco and tobacco products.” The council chairperson, Namgay Penjore, said that they discussed including a new clause to control the sale of tobacco and tobacco products through pricing.

Council members said that the bar upon sales had been ineffective and led to a black market. Some said tobacco was easily available anywhere, but at exorbitant prices because of the ineffective restrictions.

“The idea is to make tobacco expensive by imposing higher taxes,” said the chairperson. The name of the bill is “Tobacco control bill” and not ‘… ban’. “The change (deleting the clause) was to do away with the thriving black market,” he said.

Meanwhile, the council also suggested inserting another clause restricting the sale of tobacco products to youth below 18 years. However, Namgay Penjore said the bill was still under discussion and not endorsed. The bill will be submitted to the National Assembly.

3 June 2010
According to the bill, people selling tobacco products will be punished for the offence of misdemeanour liable for a prison term of one to three years. Smuggling tobacco products into the country will be punished for the offence of felony of fourth degree liable for prison term of three to five years. However, the bill was passed with 61 “yes” votes and five “no” votes. Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency (BNCA) will serve as the secretariat of the tobacco control office and its board members will also be the board members of the tobacco control board, according to the Health Minister. The tobacco control board, among other functions, will provide effective leadership and coordination in imple­menting the act, formulate and implement national tobacco control strategy, monitor the enforcement of the provisions under the act and approve rules framed under the act. The Health Minister said that, once His Majesty gives his assent to the bill, the rules and regulations will be drafted

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has prohibited smoking in public buildings nationwide since 1 September 2007.


Smoking in Brazil is forbidden in all enclosed public spaces except for specifically designated smoking areas. Since 15 December 2011, Federal Law 12546 (article 49) forbids smoking in enclosed spaces in the entire country, including restaurants and bars.

In Brazil, the legal age for sale and consumption of tobacco is 18. Tobacco advertising is restricted to posters in shops, and is banned on television and radio. All cigarette packs contain advertisements against smoking and government warnings about possible adverse health effects of smoking.


Smoking was restricted in 2010 for all indoor public spaces except bars, restaurants and clubs. A comprehensive smoking ban has been introduced prohibiting smoking in all public places including bars, restaurants, clubs, workplaces, stadiums, etc. and came into power since 1 June 2012.


In Canada, indoor smoking is restricted by all territories and provinces and by the federal government. As of 2010, smoking bans within each of these jurisdictions are mostly consistent, despite the separate development of legislation by each. The federal government’s workplace smoking ban applies only to the federal government and to federally regulated businesses, such as airports. Smoking rooms are available in select hotels and motels in most jurisdictions. Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario have also prohibited smoking within vehicles with children under 14.


Chile prohibits smoking in schools, hospitals, government offices, shopping centres, supermarkets, pharmacies, airports, buses, subway networks and other indoor public places. Smoking indoors in universities is restricted, although it is allowed outdoors. In 2013 Chile’s legislative body approved a ban on all smoking in public enclosed spaces nationwide, including restaurants, pubs and clubs.


Shanghai Municipality expanded a smoking ban from hospitals to kindergartens, schools, libraries and stadiums, as of 1 March 2010, and had attempted to restrict smoking in restaurants for the 2010 World Expo, but compliance in restaurants was reportedly poor and enforcement lax.

In Guangdong Province, the municipalities of Guangzhou and Jiangmen restricted smoking in public places in 2007, but the law was not effectively enforced.

A new national smoking ban, which extends to all enclosed public areas, came into effect on 1 May 2011. However enforcement of this is patchy at the best of times, especially outside developed cities like Beijing.


In summer 2009, Colombia has extended its existing tobacco control regulations by requiring all indoor work places and public places be immediately smoke-free; prohibiting tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorship, and the use of terms such as ‘light’ and ‘mild’ on packaging, requiring large, pictorial health warnings on tobacco packaging (covering 30 per cent of the front and back) within a year, preventing the sale of tobacco products to minors; and mandating public education programs on the deadly effects of tobacco use.

Costa Rica

In March 2012, Costa Rica passed one of the strictest smoking regulations in the world by a 45-2 vote in favor. This legislation has banned smoking in buses, taxis, trains and their terminals, work places (including parking lots), public buildings, restaurants, bars, casinos, and all enclosed public-access buildings, granting no exceptions (no separate “smoking areas” are permitted). It also bans smoking in outdoor recreational or educational areas such as parks, stadia and university campuses. The bill requires cigarette packs to display text and photo warnings on at least 50 percent of packaging.[30] It introduced a 20 colones tax per cigarette and prohibits any form of tobacco advertising, the use of misleading terms such as “light” or “mild” and the sale of small packages or individual cigarettes (setting a minimum of 20 cigarettes per package). It also prohibits bars and restaurants from selling cigarettes. Violators (both the commerce and the smokers) will be fined a minimum of 180.000 colones (US$355). Compliance with the law has been surprisingly high and smoking has disappeared in banned areas. Several programs and promotional campaigns have been started by the government and private institutions to promote quitting smoking, with very positive results.


On 22 November 2008 the Croatian Parliament passed legislation prohibiting smoking in public institutions such as hospitals, clinics, schools, nurseries and universities with infractions punishable with up to 1000 kuna (140 euros). A notable exception in the Act are psychiatric wards in Croatia’s hospitals. The law went further in May 2009 when smoking was banned in all enclosed public areas including bars, restaurants and cafes. The smoking ban applies to all public areas where non-smokers could suffer from second-hand smoke including open public areas like sport stadiums, arenas, open air theatres, tram and bus stations etc. It is estimated that 30 percent of Croatia’s adult population are smokers. On 10 September 2009 the regulations restricting smoking in bars and cafes in Croatia was partially repealed for a grace period until 9 April 2010, local media has reported. Proprietors with establishments that are up to 50 sq m that meet very strict conditions will now be able to choose whether to allow smoking. One of the conditions is a ventilation system that is able to change indoor air at least 10 times per hour. By March 2010 only 16 (out of 16,000) establishments in all of Croatia had met the conditions and been permitted to allow smoking. Larger establishments will have to include a designated and separately ventilated smoking area


Cuba has prohibited smoking in most work places, removed cigarette machines and made it illegal to sell tobacco products close to schools since February 2005.


On 9 July 2009 Cyprus passed a new law, tightening up ineffective 2002 legislation, which banned smoking in bars, restaurants, nightclubs and workplaces as of 1 January 2010. Since the implementation of the smoking ban on 1 January 2010, compliance levels have been variable, apparently mainly due to a lack of enforcement by the police. A spokesman for some restaurant & bar owners has nevertheless complained that the introduction of the ban has led to a drop in revenue but produced no evidence to support this statement.

Czech Republic

The second German anti-tobacco organization, the Bund Deutscher Tabakgegner (Federation of German Tobacco Opponents), was established in 1910 in Trautenau, Bohemia. In 1920, a Bund Deutscher Tabakgegner in der Tschechoslowakei (Federation of German Tobacco Opponents in Czechoslovakia) was formed in Prague, after Czechoslovakia was separated from Austria at the end of World War I. Currently, there is a law in force that restricts smoking in some public places such as institutions, hospitals, bus stops and other public service stops, but not in restaurants, bars and clubs. In June 2009 the parliament approved a bill ostensibly regulating smoking in public places. However, this only requires bars and restaurants to post a sign saying whether smoking is allowed, not allowed, or whether there are separate rooms for smokers and non-smokers in the establishment. In February 2011, the popular initiative “stop kouření” announced, that 115,000 people had signed their petition demanding a ban on smoking in restaurants and denouncing the country’s high cancer rate, poor rating concerning tobacco control and possible corruption of members of the Czech parliament.


Since 15 August 2007, smoking in hospitality facilities, restaurants, bars, clubs, public transport, and all private and public workplaces has been restricted. Exemptions to the law are bars with a floor space less than 40 m² and offices only used by a single employee. Separate smoking rooms are allowed in hospitality facilities as long as no food or beverage is served there. The law’s initially controversial reception was accompanied by variable enforcement.


Smoking is more common among men and younger people in Ecuador.

Smoking is common in bars and dance clubs, but non-smoking signs in restaurants in Quito are generally respected.


Smoking has been restricted in indoor public areas and workplaces since 4 June 2005, except in restaurants. Subsequently, a ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, coffee shops and nightclubs started on 5 June 2007 (although smoking is still allowed in isolated smoking rooms).

Falkland Islands

Smoking has been prohibited in all enclosed public places (including pubs, restaurants, social clubs, hotels and shops), enclosed workplaces, and public vehicles (taxis and buses) since 1 February 2011.

Faroe Islands

Smoking has been prohibited in all enclosed public spaces since 1 July 2008.


Smoking has been restricted in indoor public areas and workplaces from 1 March 1995, and permitted only in specially designated smoking rooms; restaurants were included in 2007. Legislation aimed towards voluntary reduction of second-hand smoke was enacted, but was not successful; few establishments installed effective ventilation systems. Dividing a restaurant into a smoking and non-smoking section was also an ineffective measure. As a result, smoking has since been prohibited in all indoor public and workplaces, including bars, cafes, clubs and restaurants, from 1 June 2007, except in some places permitted a transition period of up to two years. Smoking was permitted in trains in designated smoking booths until June 2013, when it was banned by the national railway company. Smoking in bars is still allowed in enclosed smoking booths, where it is not permitted to serve or consume food or drink. Many smaller bars have not been able to build such smoking booths and patrons must smoke outside.

As of early 2010, Finland’s government has openly considered planning gradual moves towards phasing-out smoking completely.


Smoking is banned in all public places (stations, museums, etc.); an exception exists for special smoking rooms fulfilling strict conditions, as below. However, a special exemption was made for cafés and restaurants, clubs, casinos, bars, etc. until 1 January 2008, although the French government allowed a day of reflection on New Year’s Day. Opinion polls suggest 70% of people support the ban. However, a 2009 story by Time Magazine suggested that some smokers were blatantly ignoring the smoking ban due to lax enforcement.

Under the new regulations, smoking rooms are allowed, but are subjected to very strict conditions: they may occupy at most 20% of the total floor space of the establishment and their size may not be more than 35 m²; they need to be equipped with separate ventilation that replaces the full volume of air ten times per hour; the air pressure of the smoking room must constantly be lower than the pressure in the contiguous rooms; they must have doors that close automatically; no service can be provided in the smoking rooms; and cleaning and maintenance personnel may enter the room only one hour after it was last used for smoking.

Previously, under the former implementation rules of the 1991 Évin law, restaurants, cafés etc. just had to provide smoking and non-smoking sections, which in practice were often not well separated. In larger establishments, smoking and non-smoking sections could be separate rooms, but often they were just areas within the same room.

A legal challenge against the new regulations was filed before the Conseil d’État in 2007, but was rejected.


With some of Europe’s highest smoking rates, Germany’s patchwork of smoke-free regulations continues to be controversial. In February 2009,Der Spiegel reported that bans on smoking in bars were being very weakly controlled by the authorities, and that in some places the ban was not being observed at all.


Smoking has been prohibited in all enclosed public spaces since 1 October 2012.


As of 2010, Greece was the country with the highest rate of tobacco consumption (more than 40%) in the European Union. Since older legislation was not very efficient a new, more comprehensive law was passed. Effective from 1 September 2010, this law prohibits smoking and consumption of tobacco products by other means, in all work-places, transport stations, taxis and passenger ships (in trains, buses and airplanes smoking is already prohibited), as well as in all enclosed public places including restaurants, night clubs, etc., without any exception. Casinos and bars bigger than 300 m2 were given eight months to apply the law. Enforcement of the law is reportedly weak, with most owners of coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants continuing to allow smoking.


Guatemala has implemented a comprehensive smoking ban covering all types of places and institutions. On December 2008 the Guatemalan Congress approved Decree 74-2008 and it became effective on February 2009. This law restricts smoking in all work-places including health-care facilities, governmental facilities, schools, universities, airports, bars and restaurants. However, two years after the law’s implementation enforcement has been deficient. Governments are facing pressures to permit work-place smoking once more by local tobacco companies.


Smoke-free ordinances were introduced at different times in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency. Smoking was restricted in all enclosed public places in the island of Guernsey, including workplaces, bars, clubs and restaurants, on 2 July 2006, under the “Smoking (Prohibition in Public Places and Workplaces) (Guernsey) Law 2005”. Anyone who breaks the law, upon conviction, could be fined up to the maximum of £1000 (~€1150, ~$1470). Smoking is allowed anywhere outside and in whatever company.

In Alderney, the States of Alderney passed a smoke-free law with the President’s casting vote on 13 January 2010; the legislation came into force at 4 am on 1 June 2010.

Smoking in indoor public places continues to be permitted in Sark.


Honduras strictly banned smoking in all indoors places in Feb 2011. It carries fines of $311 per incident, with police involvement, and fines up to $6,000 for businesses with possibility of being forced to close, and has been strongly enforced, even in provincial areas, including in large bars and nightclubs. Billiards areas at night continue to allow smokers.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has seen all public smoking restricted from 1 January 2007 under the government’s revised Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance(Cap. 371), first enacted in 1982 with several amendments subsequently. The latest amendment enlarges the smoke-free regulations to include indoor workplaces, most public places including restaurants, Internet cafés, public lavatories, beaches and most public parks. Some bars, karaoke parlors, saunas and nightclubs were exempt until 1 July 2009. Smoke-free regulations pertaining to lifts, public transport, cinemas, concert halls, airport terminals and escalators had been phased in between 1982 and 1997. The smoke-free requirements in shopping centres, department stores, supermarkets, banks, game arcades have been in place since July 1998.

An anomaly exists on cross-border trains between Hong Kong and mainland China as they are operated jointly between MTR Corporation and the Chinese Railways, of whom the latter allows smoking in the restaurant car and in the vestibules at the end of the cars, but not in the seating area.

Any person who smokes or carries a lighted tobacco product in a statutory no smoking area commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of HK$5,000. Unlike many other jurisdictions, Hong Kong does not place the onus on licensees of liquor licensed premises to enforce smoke-free regulations bans with subsequent loss of licence for non compliance. A 2009 law provides for fixed-penalty arrangement (HK$1,500) for smoking, on a par with that for littering. At the same time smoking was to be prohibited in designated public transport interchanges, but the government has yet to clarify how it will enforce this against non Hong Kong ID card-holders and tourists, since the offender has 21 days after the ticket issue to pay up.

The overall daily smoking rate in Hong Kong is 11.8% (HK Department of Census and Statistics Household Thematic Survey 36) with 25% of males smoking whereas in China 63% of males smoke.


Smoking has been restricted for several years on public transport, in hospitals and airports and in public and national buildings, including theParliament. From 2010, smoke-free has been in effect in playgrounds and underpasses. Several cities, including Budapest, have prohibited smoking in public transport stops. Following a decade of resistance by the tobacco lobby, a comprehensive nationwide smoke-free law covering all inside public spaces (including workplaces, clubs, pubs, restaurants) is in effect from January 2012. Since July 2013 the sale of tobacco is limited to state-controlled tobacco shops called Nemzeti Dohánybolt (National Tobacco Shop), number of stores where people can buy tobacco reduced from 40,000-42,000 to 5,300.


Smoking and the use of other tobacco products is prohibited in most public spaces in Iceland. This includes all enclosed spaces in common ownership, all public land intended for use by children, all public transport and all services; including restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés.


A nationwide smoke-free law pertaining to public places came into effect from 2 October 2008. Places where smoking is restricted include auditoriums, movie theatres, hospitals, public transport (aircraft, buses, trains, metros, monorails, taxis, autos) and their related facilities (airports, bus stands/stations, railway stations), restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, amusement centres, offices (government and private), libraries, courts, post offices, markets, shopping malls, canteens, refreshment rooms, banquet halls, discothèques, coffee houses, educational institutions and parks. Smoking is allowed on roads, inside one’s home or vehicle. Smoking is also permitted in airports, restaurants, bars, pubs, discothèques and some other enclosed workplaces if they provide designated separate smoking areas. Anybody violating this law will be charged with a fine of 200. The sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions is also prohibited. However, this particular rule is seldom enforced.

The Cable Television Network (Regulation) Amendment Bill, in force since 8 September 2000, completely prohibits cigarette and alcohol advertisements.

Hookah bars and consumption of hookah in public, is prohibited in some regions of India.


In Jakarta’s restaurants, hotels, office buildings, airports and public transport, and overall public areas smoking is not permitted. Restaurants want to allow smoking must provide a separate smoking space, as of 4 February 2006. As in some other Asian nations, it remains to be seen whether it can be enforced. Building separate facilities for smokers had only taken place in half of establishments by June 2007.

Smoke-free regulations were extended to Bali in November 2011, affecting tourist sites, including restaurants and hotels; plus schools, government buildings, places of worship and other public places. A ban on sale and advertising tobacco in schools was also enacted, although this would not stop tobacco companies offering sponsorship to schools. However, regulations were not strong enough, leading to a new stricter promulgation for June 2012.

Smoking in trains of state company PT Kereta Api Indonesia has been banned as of 1 March 2012.

Bali has banned smoking to be effective 1 June 2012, also having heavy fines. Hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, places of worship, healthcare facilities and schools are to be smoke-free areas. Smoking and advertising for tobacco products have also been banned in playgrounds, traditional and modern markets, transportation terminals, airports, government offices and on public transportation.


Smoking in Iran has been affected by a strict smoking ban in all public places since 2007. According to the new law, smoking is prohibited in all public organizations, hotels, restaurants, tea houses and coffee shops. Also forbidden is the offering and smoking of ghalyun, the traditional Persian waterpipe, which is a must in Iranian tea houses. A smoking ban for all car drivers nationwide was implemented since March 2006, and although offenders could face fines, the ban was widely ignored by the drivers. Also selling tobacco products to anyone under 18 would result in confiscation of the vendor’s tobacco products and a cash fine. Repeated violations would lead to high cash fines.


Ireland became the first country in the world to institute a nationwide comprehensive smoke-free workplaces law on 29 March 2004. Before this comprehensive smoke-free law was instituted, smoking had already been outlawed (1988) in public buildings, hospitals, public pharmacies, schools, banking halls, cinemas, public hairdressing premises, restaurant kitchens, part of all restaurants, on public transport aircraft and buses, and some trains (Intercity trains provided smokers’ carriages).

On 1 July 2009, Ireland prohibited in-store tobacco advertising and displays of tobacco products at retail outlets and new controls on tobaccovending machines.

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man’s smoke-free law is similar to the one introduced in England, and came into effect on 30 March 2008. This also included Europe’s first fully smoke-free prison.


In Israel, smoking is prohibited in public enclosed places or commercial areas via several laws: particularly, since 1983, the “Israel Clean Air Act” (חוק אוויר נקי לישראל (in Hebrew)). The law was amended in 2007 so that owners are held accountable for smoking in premises under their responsibility. The second means by which smoking is regulated in Israel is via the environmental hazard law, and via criminal law smoking (or the introduction of second-hand smoke) may even be considered an assault.

The restrictions include all commercial entities such as lavatories, office buildings, gyms, cafés, restaurants, discos, pubs and bars, and it is illegal for the owners of such places to put ashtrays anywhere inside enclosed spaces. Also, owners of public places must display “no smoking” signs and prevent visitors from smoking. They can also designate a well-ventilated and completely separate area for smokers, as long as the non-smokers’ area does not fall below 75% of the whole area. The fine for owners of public places is ₪ 5,000 (around US$1400) and for smokers – ₪ 1000. In spite of all of this, the smoke-free law has not met with 100% compliance and smoking is still encountered in some pubs, bars and clubs. In Israel, a 2011 law restricts smoking in railway stations and at bus stops, and prohibits the sale of tobacco from automated vending machines. An individual may call the police in cases of smoking in a restricted environment and can also sue (via the citizen’s court) the smoking entity (i.e., both the person smoking and the facility that allowed smoking to occur).

Some cities are known for their rigorous enforcement of the smoke-free laws, such as the city of Be’er Sheva (which raised revenue of 799,000 NIS (~215K USD) in 2011 through fining smoking in public places) and Tel-Aviv, but in many municipalities the law isn’t enforced


Italy was the fourth country in the world to enact a nationwide smoke-free law. Since 10 January 2005 it is forbidden to smoke in all public indoor spaces, including bars, cafés, restaurants and discos. However, special smoking rooms are allowed. In such areas food can be served, but they are subjected to strict conditions: they need to be separately ventilated, with high air replacement rates; their air pressure must constantly be lower than the pressure in the surrounding rooms; they must be equipped with automatic sliding doors to prevent smoke from spreading to tobacco-free areas; they may occupy at most 50% of the establishment. Only 1% of all public establishments have opted for setting up a smoking room. Smoking is also forbidden in all enclosed workplaces – this includes also trains and underground stations. It is, indeed, permitted to smoke outdoors, which means that since Italy has sunny weather more than half of the year, people can still smoke at restaurants and bars as long as they sit on the outside tables and people still smoke there.


Smoking is not permitted in the airport or generally indoors at shops and malls and places of business. However smoking is usually permitted in bars, discos and other licensed premises that serve alcohol indoors, but not in restaurants or casinos. Smoking is often permitted in tourist resorts in places that would be typically considered indoors in North America (roof but no walls), but this does not apply to indoor air-conditioned places. Jamaica has no national smoke-free law, but most places have a no-smoking sign if smoking is not permitted and it is open-air with a roof. Most places that permit smoking indoors will have ashtrays on the table to signify that it is permitted. However, if there is a sandbox at the entrance of a building then it usually signals that the place you are entering does not permit indoor smoking.

Effective July 15, 2013, Jamaica’s Health Minister banned smoking in all covered public places on the island.


Although there are no consistent nationwide smoke-free regulations in Japan, and all moves to introduce such reforms are strongly opposed by the powerful lobby groups, there are a growing number of local ordinances restricting smoking. Smoking is forbidden on the streets of theChiyoda, Shinagawa, Shinjuku and Nakano wards of Tokyo for reasons of child safety (not health). Smoking is prohibited on public transport and subway platforms, while above ground train station platforms typically have smoking areas. Unlike Tokyo wards’ ability to fine people for smoking on the streets, public transportation companies don’t have the authority to enforce no smoking rules. Due to this inability, there are smokers not respecting no smoking rules, in some cases on a very frequent basis such as at Minami Urawa station in Saitama Prefecture, adjacent to Tokyo. Kanagawa Prefecture has implemented in April 2010 the nation’s first prefecture-wide smoking ban, banning smoking in public facilities, including hospitals, schools and government offices. The ordinance requires large restaurants and hotels to choose whether to become nonsmoking or create separate smoking areas, while mah-jong and pachinko parlours, restaurants with floor space of up to 100 sq. meters and hotels of up to 700 sq. metres are merely required to “make efforts” to reduce second-hand smoke. Another Kanagawa ordinance to restrict smoking at swimming beaches was expected to be implemented in May 2010. Although still relatively few, there are a growing number of private businesses implementing voluntary smoking restrictions bans in restaurants, taxis, buildings and bars


Smoking is restricted in public places in Jersey (a British Crown dependency).

The Restriction on Smoking (Jersey) Law 1973 enabled the States of Jersey to pass regulations prohibiting or restricting smoking in places of entertainment and public transport. In pursuance of this law, smoking was banned on public transport by the Smoking (Public Transport) (Jersey) Regulations 1982.

The Restriction on Smoking (Jersey) Law 1973 was amended by the Restriction on Smoking (Amendment No. 2) (Jersey) Law 2006[94]adopted 16 May 2006 that enabled the States to make regulations that prohibit or restrict smoking tobacco or a substance (or a mixture of substances) other than tobacco, or the use of tobacco, in a workplace or other defined places. Jordan There are laws banning smoking in public places, but these are rarely enforced.


Kazakhstan partially restricted smoking in public places on 1 April 2003. A comprehensive smoke-free law was instituted in September 2009. Enforcing the smoke-free law appears to be somewhat problematic as far as public bus services are concerned. While smoking by passengers on the public bus services was never an issue, bus operators on duty were being consistently reported as smoking inside the bus vehicles and persistently ignoring requests by the passengers not to do so.


Smoking in public indoor areas is restricted in Nairobi, Kenya, since July 2007. Small private bars will be exempted. Mombasa already has a similar pre-existing smoke-free ordinance.


Kuwait has outlawed smoking indoors in public places as of 2012, including restaurants, cafes and hotels, but exempting shisha parlours.


As of 1 May 2010, smoking has been completely outlawed in restaurants and bars. Previously non-smoking areas had to be larger than half of the total area of the establishment. Smoking is also restricted in parks and for ten metres around entrances of public buildings as well as public transportation stops. Smoking on public transportation, except for ferries, is also forbidden.

In late 2011 some municipalities, for example, Ozolnieku novads, prohibited smoking on balconies and by open windows in apartment blocks and others multi-storey buildings.


Smoking has been restricted in restaurants, bars, places where food is served, clubs (except for special cigar and pipe clubs), and nightclubs since 1 January 2007. Furthermore, smoking on public transportation is forbidden, except on long-distance trains with special facilities and workplaces inside a building, except designated places. It is also illegal to smoke inside public halls where non-smoking people might have to breathe tobacco fumes. The law is well respected (at least in the main cities) but smoking in hallways and staircases are still common.


As of 3 September 2012, smoking has been prohibited in enclosed public places such as restaurants, cafes, and hotel. Anybody violating this ban will be charged with a fine of over 100$, and the restaurant, the cafe or the hotel will be charged with a fine between 1300$ and 4000$


Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places, like hospitals, shopping centres, schools and restaurants. However, cafés and bars that only serve snacks are exempt. There is a smoking prohibition from 12 noon to 14:00h and 19:00h to 21:00h in cafés where meals are served.


Macedonia has a comprehensive national smoke-free law covering all public indoor areas, and in some cases in outdoor areas. Smoking is prohibited in bars, cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs starting 1 January 2010. Smoking is permitted only in people’s homes, at open spaces and public areas free of sporting competitions, cultural and entertainment events, gatherings and other public events.


By official law, smoking is prohibited in taxi-brousses, but this is not enforced. The only transport environments in which smoking is prohibited are Antananarivo International Airport and on Air Madagascar flights. It is also forbidden to smoke in pubs and clubs.


No smoke-free ordinance is in place, nor is one planned (December 2012)


In April 2004, smoking was restricted in all enclosed public spaces, including public transportation, clubs and restaurants, although smoking areas are allowed.


In all, 21 areas are smoke-free, including hospitals/clinics, airports, public lifts and toilets, air-conditioned restaurants, public transport, government premises, educational institutions, petrol stations, Internet cafes, shopping complexes and private office spaces with central air-conditioning. However, enforcement is lax, and the government claims to have plans to get tougher on offenders.

Starting 1 June 2010, it is an offence to smoke at private office spaces with central air-conditioning. People who violate the rules can be fined up to RM10,000 (US$3,333), or two years of imprisonment.


Since 1 March 2009, smoking is completely prohibited in all public places and workplaces.


Smoking in hospitals and airports has been restricted for at least 15 years. Smoking is allowed in designated areas at the Cancun Airport. Mexico City’s current smoking policy, passed in April 2004, requires physically separate smoking and non-smoking areas, and for non-smoking areas to make up at least 30% of all space in restaurants and bars. A proposal debated early in 2007 to extend Mexico City’s smoking policy to provide completely smoke-free restaurants, bars, schools, taxis, and buses, did not pass. It was proposed again in the middle of 2007.

Since April 2008 the law has covered Mexico City, and since 28 August 2008 the law has been extended nationwide, although now some restaurants and other public places have the same designated areas for smokers as those that existed before the introduction of the law. Some bars and clubs continue to tolerate illegal indoor smoking at night, regardless of the law.

Advertisement of tobacco products has been barred from TV and radio for approximately 6 years.


There has been a smoke-free law pertaining to public indoor places in Monaco since 1 November 2008, including bars, restaurants and nightclubs.


Smoking in public places is prohibited in Montenegro. The law also forbids smoking advertising and the display of people smoking on television.[108]


Morocco’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a smoke-free law pertaining to public places.


Since 2007, smoking has been restricted in indoor public places including public transport, government buildings, schools, hospitals, libraries, cinemas, theatres, restaurants and bars, with the exception of specially designated smoking rooms.


There is currently no smoke-free law in Namibia (December 2011), but on 8 October 2009, the Namibian National Assembly adopted the Tobacco Products Control Bill, potentially one of the most comprehensive smoke-free ordinances. The law, (once implemented) will prohibit “the smoking of tobacco in a public place, any outdoor public place or any area within a certain distance of a window, ventilation inlet, door or entrance”. The bill was voted into law on 16 February 2010 but has yet (Dec 2011) to be implemented.


Nepal Government implemented a smoke-free law covering public places, effective from 7 August 2011. The Tobacco (Control and Regulatory) Act restricts smoking in airports, hotels, restaurants, government offices and other public places. The act also makes it obligatory for tobacco product manufacturers to ensure that product packs carry graphic warnings about the adverse effects of smoking and the harmful ingredients the products contain. The warnings should cover at least 75% of the total pack area.The act also prohibits sales of tobacco products to pregnant women and people below the age of 18.

The Tobacco Control and Regulation Act-2068 was signed by President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav on 29 April.

The Act includes provisions for officials to inspect implementation of the new law. A fine of Rs 100-100,000 will be slapped on anyone who smokes in public places or sells tobacco products to people below 18 or to pregnant women.


Consuming of tobacco is prohibited by law in all public buildings and in public transport. As of 1 January 2004 every employee has the right to work in a smoke-free environment. Tobacco legislation states that employers are obliged to take measures to ensure that employees are able to carry out their work without being bothered or affected by smoke from others. On 1 January 2008 Amsterdam Airport Schiphol became the first completely smoke-free European airport; however, since August 2008 smoking has been allowed in designated smoking rooms. Since 1 July 2008 the smoke-free law has also applied to all hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes in The Netherlands. Separate smoking rooms are allowed in hospitality facilities as long as no food or beverage is served there. All forms of tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship are prohibited. Smoking of cannabis (marijuana and hashish) in coffee-shops is permitted as long as it is not mixed with tobacco. In 2010 the new government spoke out against the effects of the smoke-free law upon small catering businesses. The law was widely ignored with statistics showing that around 41% of bars and discos had flouted it. On 3 November 2010 the new government lifted the smoke-free regulations for bars of 70 square metres or less that did not employ any staff other than the owner. Around 3,000 of the 5,500 bars in The Netherlands are staffed by the owner alone.

On the 12th of February 2013, the Dutch parliament agreed on a total ban in the hospitality sector with 77-73, with no exception for smaller, owner-operated bars.

New Zealand

The first building in the world to have a smoke-free policy was the Old Government Building in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1876. This was over concerns about the threat of fire, as it is the second largest wooden building in the world.

New Zealand passed an amendment to the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 law on 3 December 2003 (effective in 2004) that covers all indoor public workplaces and inside hospitality venues (pubs, bars, restaurants and casinos). Studies have shown very high levels of compliance with the law. Also the air quality inside hospitality venues is very good compared to similar settings in other countries where smoking is still permitted. In New Zealand, tobacco and tobacco products cannot be sold or supplied to anyone under 18.

Outdoor smoke-free laws cover the grounds of all schools, the grounds of some hospitals, stadiums and two university campuses (Massey University, and the University of Auckland, in 2010). Victoria University of Wellington has restricted smoking rules with specified areas where one may smoke. The government has not moved to restrict smoking in cars but has run mass media campaigns that promote smoke-free cars and homes.

There are also increasing numbers of local councils implementing educative smokefree policies. South Taranaki District Council was the first. In May 2005 the Council made its playgrounds, parks and swimming pools smokefree, as well as ensuring that all Council events held in South Taranaki parks were to be promoted as smoke-free events and in May 2006 the Upper Hutt city council followed suit and declared all “open areas for which members ofthe public gather” (i.e., parks, playgrounds, pools) smoke-free however this by-law lacks in enforcement other than a polite request by city council officials and Security Guards (rather than confisacation and court penalty). At least 19 of New Zealand’s other Councils have followed suit. (Source:

On 5 September 2007, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) New Zealand called for the removal of tobacco from sale by 2017. The Government wants to be smokefree by 2025.


Smoking is prohibited in public places in Lagos, Nigeria, and is punishable by a fine of not less than N200 and not exceeding N1000 or to imprisonment to a term of not less than one month and not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.


In Norway, smoking has been restricted in public buildings, workplaces and public transportation since 1988, often allowing for separate, walled-off smoking areas of restaurants, pubs, etc. Since 1 June 2004, smoking has been prohibited in all public areas. Outside some places this ban includes the immediate area surrounding the doorways, etc.


Since 2008, All restaurants, bars, and dance clubs are non-smoking. Smoking also isn’t allowed in outside dining areas or balconies. The law also prohibits people from lighting up in indoor spaces that also include transport terminals and many other locales considered a workplace.


Effective April 2010, Paraguay has restricted smoking in all indoor areas including bars and restaurants.


The Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance-2002 came into effect on 30 June 2003. The law had the following aspects: restriction upon tobacco use in public buildings and transportation, limiting tobacco advertising, prohibiting tobacco sale within 50 metres of educational institutions, and requiring “no smoking” signs displayed in public places.


In Peru, it is illegal to smoke in any public place both outdoor and indoor, according to Law 28704. Though initially unenforced, the law has been increasingly enforced in the past years.


Davao has prohibited smoking in a large number of public places, including public buildings, entertainment venues, hospitals, shopping malls, concerts since 2002. Smoking at gasoline stations is also banned.

Manila has restricted smoking in large public areas like hospitals, malls, public transport, as well as Makati in 2002 Ordinance 2002-090, banning all public transport and enclosed indoor smoking. After many attempts, finally in June 2011 Metro Manila banned smoking with heavy penalties including community service time for offenders, after 3 months the ban seems to be well respected.

Four jurisdictions have smoke-free regulations including bars and restaurants, albeit with designated smoking rooms permitted: Davao City,Makati City, Legazpi and Talisayan.

In common with the experience of several other countries, regulators in the Philippines have reported that tobacco companies have misrepresented the science on second-hand smoke and have successfully prevented or delayed introduction of policies at the national level; there also appears to be evidence that the tobacco industry is lobbying against local smoke-free laws.


Smoking is prohibited in schools, hospitals or other medical facilities and public transport (including the vehicles such as train or bus and bus stops, train stations, etc. within the 10 metres radius).

In March 2010, an attempt to introduce a complete smokefree law failed.

Since 1 January 2011, it is forbidden to smoke in indoor workplaces, and all public indoor spaces, including public offices, museums, bars, cafés, discos, shops or restaurants smaller than 100 square metres. In larger restaurants enclosed smoking areas are permitted, provided they are physically separated and properly ventilated. Smoking is also prohibited in venues for cultural and sporting events.


Portuguese Law 37/2007 governs various aspects of the consumption, sale and control of tobacco in Portugal, and lists a large number of enclosed spaces where smoking is not permitted, including such obvious cases as schools, hospitals and theatres. The law states that exceptions to the no-smoking rule may be made in the cases, inter alia, of enclosed eating and drinking establishments (i.e. restaurants, cafes and bars) not frequented by under-18s if the smoking area is physically separated from the non-smoking area or where ventilation and air extraction systems directed towards the exterior are effective to the point of preventing smoke from entering the non-smoking area, and that in the case of establishments with a floor area of more than 100 square metres no more than 40% (if physically separated) or 30% otherwise may be designated a smoking area. In effect, restaurants are almost always smoke-free as are most cafes whose trade is mainly for food, whereas in bars the law is ignored by customers and bar owners alike. A study published in 2011 by the Ministry of Health showed 90% compliance with the law in establishments with a total smoking ban, but only 50% compliance in establishments where smoking is partly or wholly permitted (i.e., most bars). 

Puerto Rico

The Law No. 40 from 1993, the Law to Regulate the Smoking Practice in Public Places, and its later 1996 amendment Law 133, regulate smoking in private and public places. The most recent modification established in [2 March 2007], Law 66, amended articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 11 of Law Num. 40, forbids this practice inside jails, pubs, restaurants (including open-air terraces with one or more employees), bars, casinos, workplaces, educational institutions, cars with children under age 13 and most public places. Smoking sections are not allowed. Fines start at $250.


The capital of Qatar, Doha, restricted smoking in public or closed areas in 2002. The law discouraged shopkeepers from selling to under-aged people and completely banned tobacco advertisements in the country and punished violaters with hefty fines. However, the law is openly flouted especially by the youth.


Smoking is banned in “indoor public places” such as schools, office buildings and public institutions, though specially-designed smoking areas may be established on the premises under certain conditions. Hospitals,CFR passenger trains and the Bucharest Metro, among others, are completely smoke-free. Since 2011, bars and restaurants may be designated either as smoke-free or exclusively for smokers.


Russia had been a tobacco industries’ paradise for a long time, with almost no regulation. However, the Soviet Union had approved countrywide campaigns against smoking. The law “on the protection of the population from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke and the consequences of tobacco consumption” has passed the third and final vote in the State Duma and will be effective partly from 1 July 2013 and completely from 1 July 2014. Starting 1 July 2013, smoking in workplaces, on aircraft, trains and municipal transport as well as in schools, hospitals, cultural institutions and government buildings will be restricted and tobacco advertising and sponsorship forbidden. Graphic warnings will become compulsory. Starting 1 July 2014, smoking will also be prohibited in restaurants and cafés.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has in the past had almost no restrictions against smoking. However, on 20 June 2010, the Council of Ministers urged the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to restrict smoking at all airports and their facilities in the Kingdom, and strict rules were imposed. It also advised GACA to impose a fine of SR200 (US$53) on people who violate the new regulations. Many commercial buildings and work places banned smoking at offices in an attempt to stop smoking in public places. In addition, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals inDhahran, for instance, launched a program in 2010 to make their university smoke-free, and Umm al-Qura University in Mecca launched a campaign with the same title in 2011. In May 2012, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh banned people from smoking in and around its buildings, the first such move in the country. The hospital implemented fines of SR200 for violations.

On 30 July 2012, Interior Minister Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz ordered the implementation of a royal ban on smoking in all government facilities (ministries, buildings, institutions, offices etc.) and most public places, including restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, supermarkets, shopping malls and enclosed crowded areas. The ban also prohibits smoking of hookahs in public places, and prohibits selling tobacco to those under the age of 18. On 1 December 2012, the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA) imposed a ban on smoking in all tourism facilities. The ban was an extension of the earlier initiative by the Interior Ministry in July to eliminate smoking in all enclosed public areas. The ban covers tourism accommodation facilities (hotels, furnished apartments etc.), travel agencies and tourist activity organizers and indoor areas where tourist events take place are the target of the ban.

Many cafés in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, suffered heavy financial losses because of the tobacco ban. They were forced to redesign their commercial activities in response. However, law enforcement raids are generally not followed by strict control of the market. Especially in the evening, cafes operate as usual with no change after smoking was banned. Others closed because of the financial impact of the smoking ban. Abdullah Al-Da’adi, a café owner in Alhosaynia District, claimed that banning smoking in Makkah had caused the expected financial loss. He further claimed that transactions had decreased by more than 50% since smoking was banned. Because of restrictions imposed by the municipality and unannounced inspections, many cafes changed their business model. The ban has also created a black market for cigarettes, by traders who sell tobacco for much higher prices.


The Serbian Parliament passed a new law on public smoking in November 2010. It forbids smoking in every indoor working or public space, and any outdoor space that is a functional part of a facility connected with health care, education, or child care. This law prescribes very high fines for employers and restaurant owners who do not post smoking ban notifications. Outlets (bars, cafés, restaurants, night clubs etc.) smaller than 80 sq m can choose whether to ban smoking or not, and outlets larger than this margin have to have divided areas for smokers and non-smokers.


Smoking was restricted in hawker centres, coffee-shops, cafes and fast-food outlets beginning 1 July 2006. For establishments with an outdoor area, 10–20% of the area can be set aside for smoking, although they would have to be clearly marked to avoid confusion. Gradually, the regulations have been extended to bus interchanges and shelters, public toilets and public swimming complexes.

On 1 July 2007, the regulations were extended to entertainment nightspots. The rule allows for construction of designated smoking rooms that can take up to 10% of the total indoor space.

On 1 January 2009, the regulations were extended to all children’s playgrounds, exercise areas, markets, underground and multi-storey carparks, ferry terminals and jetties. Coverage was also extended to non-air conditioned areas in offices, factories, shops, shopping complexes and lift lobbies.

Smokers found flouting the rules are fined S$200 while the owners of the establishments are fined S$200 and S$500 for a subsequent offence.

On 22 November 2010, the Towards Tobacco-Free Singapore online campaign was launched to support the initiative to phase out tobacco in Singapore by preventing the supply of tobacco to Singaporeans born from the year 2000. The initiative was put forward by a team consisting of a lung cancer surgeon, medical officers, a university professor and a civil servant. The proposal has received strong public support and has attracted media interest.

As of 2011, no-smoking enforcement has not been effective as the enforcement officers are few and sporadically make checks. Furthermore, smokers will light up again when these enforcement officers leave the premise.


Smoking is prohibited in most indoor places. Since 2004, employers have been obliged to provide separate smoking rooms or a designated outdoor smoking place if smoking is allowed at work. Smoking is also prohibited in the majority of indoor public places. The regulations currently exempt bars that do not serve food. Restaurants are also excepted from indoor smoking restrictions. Since 2010 there has been no requirement for restaurants to have separate smoking and non-smoking areas. Smoking is also prohibited in shopping centres but a loop-hole in the law allows smoking on the balconies of cafeterias in shopping centres. Enforcement of this law is the responsibility of the Slovak Business Inspection (SOI) service.

There is also a partial restriction upon outdoor smoking, especially around railways stations and bus termini, and close to the entrances of government buildings. Local police forces are responsible for enforcing these laws, although this has on occasion been lax, reportedly due to a mix of corruption and insufficiently clear legislative requirements.


On 22 June 2007, the Slovenian National Assembly approved a law prohibiting smoking in all indoor public and work places, effective 5 August 2007. Exempted from the ban are “open public areas, special smoking hotel rooms, special smoking areas in elderly care centres and jails, and special smoking chambers in bars and other work places. The smoking chambers, which will have to meet strict technical standards, will however not be allowed to occupy more than 20% of an establishment.” The law also raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 15 to 18 and mandated that tobacco labels carry the telephone number of a quit-smoking hotline.

South Africa

The South African government passed the first Tobacco Products Control Act in 1993 and started implementing the act in 1995. The act regulated smoking in public areas and prohibited tobacco sales to people under the age of 16. Some aspects of tobacco advertising were also regulated for example labelling. The 1993 act was not considered to be comprehensive enough and the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act was passed in 1999. This act prohibitsall advertising and promotion of tobacco products, including sponsorship and free distribution of tobacco products. The act also restricts smoking in public places, which includes workplaces, restaurants, bars, and public transport. The act does allow for designated smoking areas (no more than 25% of the total floor area). The act also stipulates penalties for transgressors of the law, and specifies the maximum permissible levels of tar and nicotine. The regulations were implemented in 2001.

The government proposed further amendments to the bill in 2007 that sought to deal with new practices designed to circumvent the Act. These amendments also aim to bring the current law into compliance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control(FCTC). This framework has been ratified by the South African government.

The South African government is currently looking at increasing the minimum legal age for smokers to 18.

South Korea

South Korea enforced strict smoking bans in public places from July 2013, with fines of 100,000 won on any spotted smoker and up to 5 million won on shop owners not following the law. From December 2012, smoking has been completely banned in bars and restaurants larger than 150 square meters, cafes, government buildings, kindergartens, schools, universities, hospitals, youth facilities, libraries, children’s playgrounds, private academies, subway or train stations and their platforms and underground pathways, large buildings, theaters, department stores or shopping malls, large hotels and highway rest areas. The law will extend to bars and restaurants larger than 100 square meters and internet cafes from January 2014. South Korea will completely ban smoking on all bars and restaurants regardless of size from January 2015.[157]


From 2006 to 2010, Spain had a partial restriction upon smoking in public places. Offices, schools, hospitals and public transportation were smoke-free, but restaurants and bars could create a “smokers’ section” or allow smoking if they were small (under 100m2)

After 2 January 2011, smoking is restricted in every indoor public place, including restaurants, bars and cafes. Hotels may designate up to 30% of rooms for smoking; mental hospitals, jails and old people’s residences may have public rooms where workers cannot enter. Outdoor smoking is also prohibited at childcare facilities, in children’s playparks and around schools and hospital facilities

Establishments can be closed by the authorities for repeatedly violating the smoke-free law, as happened for the first time on 10 February 2011 in Marbella


In Sweden, smoking was restricted in restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs in June 2005. Smoking rooms are, however, allowed in these institutions. The smoking rooms contain a few restrictions: no serving or consumption of food or beverages is allowed in the smoking rooms and it may not cover more than 25% of the institution’s total area. The smoke-free law was very popular amongst the population and even the industries affected. In January 2008, The Swedish Prison and Probation Service prohibited smoking indoors in prisons.


The Swiss Federal Assembly enacted a law for protection against second-hand smoke in 2008, which came into force on 1 May 2010. It prohibits smoking in enclosed, publicly accessible areas and in rooms that are workplaces for several persons. There are exceptions for bars and restaurants, which may allow smoking in separate, ventilated rooms or in establishments smaller than 80 square meters, but the federal statute allows for more stringent cantonal smoking bans. 11 cantons (Jura, Aargau, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Zug, Schwyz, Glarus, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden) have imposed only the national mandated restrictions, with the remaining 15 (Genf, Waadt, Neuenburg, Wallis, Fribourg, Bern, Solothurn, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Land, Zürich, Uri, Tessin, Graubünden, St. Gallen, Luzern) imposing stricter laws by not excluding establishments smaller than 80 square meters. All 15 cantons however permit separate smoking rooms with 6 (Bern, Solothurn, Zürich, Uri, Tessin, Graubünden) permitting service.


Smoking is restricted inside cafes, restaurants and other public spaces by a presidential decree issued on 12 October 2009 and came into force on 21 April 2010. Syria claims to be the first Arab country to introduce such a ban.[citation needed] The decree also outlaws smoking in educational institutions, health centres, sports halls, cinemas and theatres and on public transport. The restrictions include the nargile, or waterpipe. According to the official news agency SANA, fines for violating the law range from 500 to 100,000 Syrian pounds (US$11 to $2,169).

A decree in 1996 banned tobacco advertising while a 2006 law outlawed smoking on public transport and in some public places, introducing fines for offenders. Under-18s are not allowed to buy tobacco


Smoking is regulated by the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (Taiwan), promulgated on 11 July 2007.


Indoor smoking restrictions have been in effect in all indoor air-conditioned establishments throughout Thailand since November 2002, with entertainment areas exempted. Cigarettes have had graphic pictures since 2005, and advertising is banned. Enforcement and compliance have been strong.

On 10 January 2008, Thailand announced further restrictions that came into force on 10 February 2008, in that smoking would be banned (indoors and outdoors) in establishments open the public, including restaurants, bars, and open-air markets. Members of the public face a 2,000 baht fines for not complying, and establishments face a 20,000 baht fine for not enforcing the ban (including not displaying mandated ‘no smoking’ signs). In addition to fines, those who fail to comply may be arrested. Most legal bars comply with these regulations, but in establishments that operate illegally or semi-legally they are mostly disregarded.


Turkey currently restricts smoking in government offices, workplaces, bars, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, schools, hospitals, and all forms of public transport, including trains, taxis and ferries. Turkey’s smoke-free law ban includes provisions for violators, where anyone caught smoking in a designated smoke-free area faces a fine of 83 liras (~€35/$47/£30) and bar owners who fail to enforce the lawcould be fined from 560 liras for a first offence up to 5,600 liras.

Smoking was first restricted in 1997 in public buildings with more than four workers, as well as planes and public buses.

On 3 January 2008, Turkey passed a law prohibiting smoking in all indoor spaces including bars, cafés and restaurants. It also restricts smoking in sports stadia, and the gardens of mosques, hospitals and schools. The smoking ban came into force on 19 May 2008; however, bars, restaurants and cafes were exempted until mid-July 2009. On 19 July 2009, Turkey extended the indoor public smoking restrictions to include bars, restaurants, village coffeehouses and nargile (hookah) bars.


Under decree from President for life Saparmurat Niyazov, has prohibited the chewing of tobacco. In 2000, Turkmenistan banned smoking in all public places. People say the ban was implemented because the president was advised by his doctor to quit smoking.


In March 2004, smoking was prohibited in public places, including workplaces, restaurants and bars. An extension to private homes is being considered.


Smoking is banned in all indoor public places, including restaurants, discos, nightclubs, indoor workplaces and all state and cultural institutions, including football stadiums.

United Arab Emirates

Emirates in the United Arab Emirates recently started restricting smoking in shopping malls, beaches, gardens. States leading the regulations on smoking Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai and Sharjah.

United Kingdom

Since 1 July 2007 smoke-free workplace laws have been in effect across the whole of the UK. These were introduced in each constituent administration of the United Kingdom separately, as decided by the partially devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the UK Parliament acting for England. For details, see (in chronological order of bans): Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.


Smoke-free regulations covering all indoor work-places in England, including bars, clubs and restaurants, came into force on 1 July 2007. Some places, such as certain smoking hotel rooms, nursing homes, prisons, submarines, offshore oil rigs, and stages/television sets (if needed for the performance) were initially exempted, as well as Royal Palaces, although members of the House of Commons and the House of Lordsagreed to ban all smoking in the Palace of Westminster.

The on-the-spot fine for smoking in a workplace is £50 (~€60/~$75), £30 (~€35/~$45) if one pays within 15 days, while a business that allows smoking can be fined £2,500 (~€3,700/~$3,800). Smoking largely remains permitted outdoors, apart from railway stations. However, an internal government briefing obtained by The Independent on Sunday newspaper reveals that powers are available to extend coverage to further outdoor areas if required. A legal loophole exists for cigar smokers who are allowed to smoke in store to ‘sample’ the cigar in England only.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, a smoke-free law has been in effect since 30 April 2007. It is illegal to smoke in all enclosed workplaces. This includes bars, restaurants, offices (even if the smoker is the only person in the office) and public buildings. Like Scotland, the smoke-free law is comprehensive in that places such as telephone boxes and enclosed bus/train shelters are included. The on-the-spot fine for smoking in a workplace is £50 (~€70/~$100), while a business that allows smoking can be fined £2,500 (~€3,700/~$5,000).

A £200 fine may be levied by local councils if businesses fail to display no-smoking signs. An opinion poll showed that 91% of people supported the law.


On 26 March 2006, Scotland prohibited smoking in enclosed (more than 50% covered) public places, which includes public buildings, workplaces, sports stadiums, bars and restaurants. Exemptions are in place to allow hotel guests to smoke in their own rooms, as long as the hotel has designated them as smoking rooms. The law restricts smoking in bus shelters, phone boxes or other shelters that are more than 50% enclosed. It also prohibits smoking in trucks and vans owned by a company, whether or not the driver is the only person inside (though smoking while driving was already legally questionable as it could be presented as “driving without due care and attention”). Businesses covered by the smoking ban must display a statutory smoking sign at the entrance to, and around the building as well as a smoke-free policy. Opinion polls at its introduction showed a clear majority of the Scottish public were in favour of the ban

As in New Zealand, the smoke-free law was initially criticised by certain interested groups (e.g., publicans, cafe and bingo hall owners, etc.) who feared that it would adversely impact their businesses. A survey published by the Scottish Beer & Pubs Association one year on from implementation concluded that “the number of pub licensed premises in Scotland has remained more or less constant over the last year” indicating fears of an adverse impact of the ban on the hospitality industry were unfounded. Widespread concerns prior to implementation about the impact on bingo halls prove harder to objectively assess: As at May 2008 there is anecdotal evidenceto suggest an increase in closures of bingo halls since implementation. However, no statistical analysis has been conducted and speculation within the betting and gaming industry is that a decline could also be the result of demographic changes and increases in online gaming.

The NHS Scotland Quit Smoking Line reported it received an additional 50,000 calls from people wishing to give up in the six months after the smoke-free law was introduced. In September 2007 a study of nine Scottish hospitals over the twelve months following implementation reported positively on its impact on the country’s health, including a 17% drop in admissions for heart attacks, compared with average reductions of 3% per year for the previous decade.


Smoking was restricted across all enclosed public premises and work premises in Wales on 2 April 2007. Adherence is widespread and public houses report increases in takings since the law came into place. However, six months after implementation, the Licensed Victuallers Association (LVA), which represents pub operators across Wales, claimed that pubs have lost up to 20% of their trade.

Public places must display a special bilingual no smoking sign:

  • “Mae ysmygu yn y fangre hon yn erbyn y gyfraith” (Welsh)
  • “It is against the law to smoke in these premises” (English)

United Nations

As United Nations buildings are not the subject of any national jurisdiction, the United Nations has its own smoking and non-smoking policies. Following the gradual introduction of partial smoking restrictions between 1985 and 2003, Secretary-General Kofi Annan introduced in 2003 a total prohibition upon smoking at United Nations Headquarters.[192] Similar restrictions have not been introduced in field offices of the United Nations worldwide. Some specialised agencies of the United Nations, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization have their own strict smoke-free regulations that apply to their offices worldwide, but the same is not necessarily true for entities of the Secretariat, such as the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Only on 13 December 2007, OCHA introduced a smoke-free regulation applicable to all its field offices.

United States

In the United States, Congress has not attempted to enact any nationwide federal smoking ban. Therefore, smoking bans in the United States are entirely a product of state and local criminal and occupational safety and health laws. As a result, the existence and aggressiveness of smoking bans varies widely throughout the United States, ranging from total bans (even outdoors), to no regulation of smoking at all. Jurisdictions in the greater South tend to have the least restrictive smoking bans or no statewide bans at all. Of the 60 most populated cities in the United States, all but 17 ban smoking in all bars and restaurants.

According to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, as of October 2012, 81.3% of the U.S. population is covered by bans on smoking in “workplaces, and/or restaurants, and/or bars, by either a state, commonwealth, or local law,” although only 48.7% are covered by bans in all workplaces and restaurants  and bars.

As of November 2012, 28 states have banned smoking in all general workplaces and public places, including bars and restaurants (though many of these exempt tobacconists, cigar bars, casinos, private clubs, and/or small workplaces). Six have enacted smoking bans exempting all adult venues including bars, and in some cases casinos and restaurants (Tennessee exempts any place not admitting patrons under 21).  Georgia,Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia have particularised state laws banning smoking in specific places but leaving out all others. The remaining 10 states have no statewide smoking bans at all, though many cities and/or counties in those states have enacted local smoking bans to varying degrees (except Oklahoma, which prohibits local governments from regulating smoking at all).

As for U.S. jurisdictions that are not states, as of November 2012 smoking is banned in all public places (including bars and restaurants) inAmerican Samoa, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands. Guam prohibits smoking in restaurants, but not in any other workplaces. The Northern Mariana Islands prohibits smoking in most workplaces and in restaurants but not in bars.


In March 2006, it became illegal in Uruguay to smoke in enclosed public spaces. Now bars, restaurants or offices where people are caught smoking face fines of more than $1,100 or a three-day closure. This makes Uruguay the first country in South America to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces.

Anti-smoking groups estimate that as many as a third of Uruguay’s 3.4 million people smoke. President Tabaré Vázquez, a practicingoncologist, has cited reports suggesting about seven people die each day in Uruguay (an estimated 5,000 people a year) from smoking-related causes including lung cancer, emphysema and other illnesses.

Vatican City

A July 2002 law signed by Pope John Paul II banned smoking on all places accessible to the public, and in all closed places of work within theVatican City, and within all extraterritorial properties of the Holy See. Smoking bans in museums, libraries and churches on Vatican territory had already been in force for a long time.


On 31 May 2011 Venezuela introduced a ban on smoking in all enclosed public and commercial spaces, including malls, restaurants, bars, discos, workplaces, etc.

The owners or managers of the establishments where smoking is banned, must post a notice measuring 80 cm. (31.5 inches) wide and 50 cm (19.7 inches) high; The poster should contain an international smoking ban pictogram and the following text: “Este es un ambiente 100% libre de humo de tabaco, por resolución del ministerio del poder popular para la salud” (This is a 100% Smoke-free environment, by resolution of the Ministry of Popular Power for Health), owners or managers also have the obligation to ensure compliance with this rule.

Owners or managers that do not post the notice or do not ensure compliance with the rule may be penalized with the closure of the establishment and / or a fine that can be up to 190,000 VEF (44,186.05 USD), however, regulation does not provide sanctions for smokers.


The Vietnamese government has banned smoking and cigarette sales in offices, production facilities, schools, hospitals, and on public transport nationwide Smoking was banned in enclosed indoor spaces and public facilities in Ho Chi Minh City in 2005 with the exception of entertainment areas.

A ban has also been imposed on all forms of advertisement, trade promotion, and sponsorship by tobacco companies, as well as cigarette sales through vending machines, or over the telephone and on the Internet.


Smoking is prohibited in public places in Zambia and is punishable by a fine of K400,000 or imprisonment of up to two years.

5 thoughts on “Know : Smoking Bans & Rules across Countries

Add yours

  1. Great post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?

    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Bless you!


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