City IndexWhat are the policies for smoking indoors around the world?
Does anyone let you smoke in your office any more? This week, Hopes&Fears looks at how cities around the world handle public cigarette consumption, from Bourbon Street to Abbey Road.
Smoking indoors doesn't seem like it's a thing anymore, is it? In this installment of City Index, we take a look at how smoking is regulated in cities around the world. Approaches vary, from bans being imposed starting this month, to smoking in bars being reinstated after years of being smoke-free. The rise of e-cigarettes has also complicated the situation, with many places rushing to also ban vaping.
Is it legal to smoke indoors in your city, outside of your apartment?
We chose 8 CITIES across the globe, from Toronto to Hong Kong, to retrieve our data.
How many PEOPLE IN CANADA smoke:
Smoking is banned in indoor public spaces and workplaces, as well as within a nine meter radius of all public buildings. Toronto’s most recently updated bylaws also forbid smoking near apartments or any other multi-unit housing. Additionally, 2009’s Smoke-Free Ontario Act bans smoking in a vehicle with any passengers under the age of 16, which may be penalized with a fine of CA$250; in the Canadian province of Alberta, a similar law was not enacted until 2012. Like Quebec, Ontario’s smoking ban was instituted in 2006.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN france SMOKE:
While roughly a third of the French population smokes, smoking is banned inside public places and workplaces. Apart from schools and hospitals, other establishments may create designated smoking areas, provided that they are within 35 square meters, well-ventilated, and do not necessitate other workers to enter them within an hour of their use. Smoking in unsanctioned areas carries a fine of €68. By 2016, tobacco companies are to diminish the logos and branding used to distinguish their products and adopt more neutral-appearing packaging.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN germany SMOKE:
The German state was smoke-free until 2012, when its ban was ruled unconstitutional. Smoking in bars is now acceptable, as long as no food is being prepared on the premises. You still can’t smoke in other public places, such as schools, malls, and airports.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN CHINA SMOKE:
All public indoor places and workplaces are non-smoking, as well as some public outdoor areas such as beaches, parks, and pools. Violating the non-smoking zone carries a flat fine of HK$1,500, and obstructing penalization by a Tobacco Control Officer carries a HK$10,000.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THE UK SMOKE:
According to the National Health Service’s Health Act 2006, smoking is forbidden in all public places and workplaces. A specific exception is made for those smoking as part of a performance, such as actors portraying characters who smoke.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN LOUISIANA SMOKE:
While smoking bans weren't heavily enforced near and sometimes inside businesses on Bourbon Street, as of April 22nd, and individuals may be ticketed $50 per offense. The penalties for business owners allowing smoking start at $100 and go up to $500 for additional offenses occurring within a 12 month period. In January 2015, the New Orleans City Council unanimously voted to ban smoking and vaping in bars, casinos, restuarants, workplaces, hotels, schools, clubs, stadiums, and other locations. Smokers must stay a minimum distance of 5 feet from a non-smoking facility and 25 feet from government buildings before lighting up.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN NYC SMOKE:
While restaurants may designate some outdoor seating as a smoking section, smoking is banned in public places and workplaces. In NYC, this includes outdoor subway platforms, and vaping is also forbidden. The state of New York first implemented the Clean Indoor Air Act in 2003, which also prohibits workplaces from having smoker-friendly break rooms. Ten years after the act began, the state launched a further Prevention Agenda to further reduce tobacco use over the next five years.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN NORWAY SMOKE:
Oslo maintains that pristine Scandinavian quality by forbidding smoking in bars, restaurants, and other public places. Norway is also notable for its cigarette prices, some of the highest in the world.
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN GREECE SMOKE:
Greece banned public smoking in 2010, but’s it’s proven difficult to enforce in a country where a reported 40% of the population over the age of 15 smokes. After several years, the Greek government also imposed a higher tax on cigarettes, but there are no signs of tobacco use diminishing. According to an NPR report from last year, at least one bar owner has gone around the law by claiming that his business is the headquarters for a smoker-friendly political party.