Traveling and Smoking in Europe: What You Need to Know
Though rates are slowly on the decline, smoking is still common in Europe. Euronews reveals that 19.7% of its population smokes daily. The countries that smoke the most include Bulgaria (28.2%), Turkey (27.3%), and Greece (27.2%). As a result, local governments and health organizations are pushing to lower these numbers by implementing anti-smoking laws and cessation programs.
These laws apply not only to residents but also to tourists traveling across the continent. If you’re going on a trip to Europe soon, knowing the specific smoking rules implemented in each country is essential to avoid legal trouble and have the most enjoyable experience possible. Here are a few things to know about traveling and smoking in Europe:
Countries that ban smoking in public
While many Europeans continue to smoke, select countries have strict smoking bans. Ireland has banned the act in all enclosed public spaces, including public transport, which you might use as a tourist. However, it is permitted in designated hotel rooms and outdoor areas. Likewise, Greece prohibits smoking and tobacco product use in all public spaces and even airports. The penalty involves paying €200 (£172) or more. Bulgaria, on the other hand, is more severe: it bans smoking in all indoor public spaces and certain outdoor areas.
These are just a few countries on the continent. Across Europe, smoking bans may be similar in that they prohibit public smoking—but many have more specific rules in place. As such, it’s best to research the smoking bans in the specific countries you’re visiting before your trip.
Countries taking extraordinary measures to curb smoking
Aside from banning smoking, a handful of European countries are taking measures to decrease its prevalence. Sweden is set to become the first smoke-free country on the continent, as it currently has less than 5% of daily smokers in its population. Its decades of anti-smoking campaigns and legislation can be thanked for this progress. For instance, they have information campaigns regarding smoking’s consequences and cessation support for those who want to quit.
Meanwhile, Yahoo reports that the Netherlands is among the four countries that could be the first to implement the full package of WHO tobacco control policies at the highest level. In addition to banning smoking in public spaces, the country will ban cigarette sales in supermarkets by 2024 and petrol stations by 2030. By 2032, only specialist tobacco shops will be allowed to sell tobacco products.
Travel-friendly smoking alternatives you can bring to Europe
Given these smoking bans and measures, you need to be cautious about your cigarette use by bringing these travel-friendly smoking alternatives:
Nicotine pouches are oral products that temporarily stay in your mouth for nicotine absorption. These are available in various strengths, usually from 2mg to 8mg. And leading e-commerce platform Prilla carries some of the top pouch brands, including ZYN, Velo, and On! As they operate online, you can conveniently order pouches from home and have them quickly delivered to your doorstep before your trip. Since these pouches are small, discreet, and smoke- and tobacco-free, you can easily use them in Europe to cope with smoking bans.
Meanwhile, nicotine lozenges melt in the mouth for nicotine release. Like pouches, these are made in 2mg and 4mg. Boots is a popular pharmacy that offers different nicotine lozenge brands, like Nicorette, NiQuitin, and Nicotinell. It is also known for supporting its customers with their smoking cessation efforts, as it held free health MOTs (Measurements, Observations, and Tests) earlier this year, which included consultations regarding cigarette use. Thus, you can rest assured that they will have nicotine lozenges for your trip and recommend the best option for your needs.
Since these are both discreet, smokeless, and tobacco-free options, you can use them during your various travel activities. In doing so, you can enjoy unique European locations like Italy’s Amalfi Coast and Norway’s Fjords—all while respecting local laws.
Although smoking is not completely banned in Europe, it’s safer to avoid cigarette use and bring nicotine products to enjoy your trip and avoid penalties. For more articles like this, check out what we have to offer here at Happy Sounds Like.