Austria's minister of health has announced a plan to completely ban smoking in all restaurants by 2018. The law is certainly controversial, but what’s most surprising is that it took this long to be implemented. The FBI is leading the investigation into the blast that left three injured on Christmas morning. In one smoke-filled bar, Café Happy, a bartender called the new law “expropriation” and said it’s absurd the government would forbid smoking indoors. Smoking is not permitted inside trains, trams, buses and other enclosed forms of public transport (such as taxis and hire cars). Smoking ban: Austria's cafe society calls time on cigarettes. At the Loos Bar, a snug, wood-paneled Vienna institution, as famous for its cocktails as its modernist architecture, a bartender said he couldn’t wait for the change and had no plans to protest. And the smoking statistics prove it. Although polling suggested a majority of Austrians still favored a ban, the far-right party made a shrewd political calculation, Thomas Szekeres, the president of the Austrian Medical Association, told Vox. Wratschko is something of a Vienna institution. But last month, around 700 people protested against it in front of the Federal Chancellery. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, has one of the highest rates of teen smokers, 1997, was Austrian Tabak privatized, and then in 2001, implement a total smoking ban on bars, cafés, and restaurants, Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, tobacco store owners. In order for Austrian moms to qualify for their sizable child benefit, they have to prove they submitted to a series of maternal health exams by having their doctors fill out a booklet — the Mutter-Kind Pass — and submitting it to the state. ", Ricci says he is very pleased about the ban. Austria was once dubbed "the ashtray of Europe" but has finally banned smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes. VIENNA — The Austrian government will finally ban smoking in bars, cafés, and restaurants on November 1 — a move that’s been met by protests, pub and nightclub closures, and lawsuits. … — Austria is also known as the “ashtray of Europe,” with a population that “must be among Europe’s worst educated about tobacco.” People can smoke here, and just about everywhere. "People want to go out and meet their friends, to enjoy a kind of atmosphere. And yet — and yet! People, the tourists, expect it.”. VIENNA — The Austrian government will finally ban smoking in bars, cafés, and restaurants on November 1 — a move that’s been met by protests, pub and nightclub closures, and lawsuits. Perhaps, as a result, they have one of the lowest maternal death rates in the world. What about bars, restaurants, etc. Austrians can thank a formerly state-owned tobacco industry, the far-right party, and something political scientists call “the Austrian solution.”, In 1964, the US came out with a landmark surgeon general report warning of the grave dangers of smoking. The smell in the restaurant is much better, because now you just smell the soup coming out of the kitchen, and the food. Austria is well known for its high smoking rates and is one of the last European countries to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. (This, I can attest, results in establishments that are still pretty smokey.) According to Eurostat, the proportion of daily smokers in Austria is 24%, placing it sixth among the EU-28 nations, behind Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Cyprus, and Latvia. “We have 500 shisha bars with several hundred employees in Austria — they will be wiped out,” he says. We used to have to work in the smoking area. We want to add 2,020 more founding contributors to our supporter base by the end of the year. What happens to your body in extreme heat? On Friday, Austria became one of the last countries in Europe to ban indoor smoking. The clothes smell better the next day. Passive smoking, however, is not okay and dangerous. But the ban is just one small step toward cracking down on tobacco here. Health minister Alois Stöger says Austria’s partial smoking bans are not doing the job, and he’s announced his intention to push through a complete ban on smoking in restaurants by 2018. VideoRisking lives for Christmas trees, playThe refugees feeding a nation. “So all sides are asked to come to the table and discuss possible solutions.” The result, he added, “is often something where nobody will be really satisfied [with], but nobody should hate it completely.”. He thinks people will come back to the night clubs, like they did in France, Italy and other countries which have introduced smoking bans. Help us add 2,020 founding contributors to our supporter base by the end of the year, and keep Vox free for all, by making a contribution today. “[The] evidence is crystal clear that the only effective way to protect workers and the public from secondhand smoke is to enact 100 percent smoke-free laws that ban smoking in all indoor workplaces and public places.”. The Austrian Government adopted, in November 2019, a comprehensive smoke-free policy, which also includes bars and restaurants among the premises covered by the ban. Not everyone shares Dobcak’s sentiments. “In Austrian culture, we think about the kaffeehauskultur — it is just normal to have people smoking in there.” Meanwhile, alcohol consumption remains another major public health issue — one politicians appear reluctant to touch, he added. I can breathe much better, Russia bans smoking on apartment balconies, The family who go all out on their Christmas cards. “[This was] a typical ‘Austrian solution’ as we would say here,” says Jakob-Moritz Eberl, a political science researcher at the University of Vienna. When lawmakers started to take tobacco controls more seriously, they came up with an absurdly half-baked fix in 2009: a quasi-smoking ban allowing restaurants larger than 50 square meters to simply cordon off an area where people could continue to smoke. In 2015, the SPÖ (democratic) and ÖVP (conservative) coalition in Austria agreed upon a general smoking ban in restaurants and taverns beginning in May 2018. Fourteen thousand people here die every year from causes related to smoking. "Maybe I am a bit sentimental. Austria’s far-right Freedom party has announced that a planned ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants that was due to come into force in 2018 will be scrapped. People prefer to meet their friends in a pub or in a bar," he said. © 2020 BBC. A 20-pack of Marlboros costs 5.50 euros (US $6.14), an increase of only .60 euro since 2014. The world’s most livable city is a smoker’s paradise. For now, even the cigarette ban will continue to face challenges, Dobcak told Vox. He says that after spending a few days away in protest, all his regular guests have now returned, despite the ban, and they are now smoking less. "Before they smoked one pack of cigarettes at the cafe house, and now maybe they are happy because they smoke only two or three cigarettes because they have to go outside. The smoking taboo, which spread throughout much of the West over the last 30 years, seems to have skipped over Austria. In May 2018, a smoking ban was scheduled to begin in all bars and restaurants in Austria; however, the ban was recently overturned by lawmakers from a new ruling coalition in the … And until a few weeks ago, it would have been full of cigarette smoke. If any of these places are caught allowing a customer to smoke, they are fined €2,200 and the person smoking is fined €350. The far-right party, led at the time by an avid smoker named Heinz-Christian Strache, rallied around the idea that smoking, like speeding on the highway, was a personal freedom — one the country’s already considerable nanny state shouldn’t be allowed to intervene in. In general the ban seems to be holding in Vienna. Austria’s capital, Vienna, has repeatedly been voted the most livable city in the world, according to an annual index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. But it's much better. "Of course it is better for me and my work. A law came into effect on 30 May 2007 restricting smoking in closed public areas and outlawing the advertisement of tobacco, although the measure was reportedly poorly enforced in the country until 2013. From 2013, law enforcement has been implemented, and smoking is strictly forbidden in closed public areas, including bars, pubs, restaurants etc. So for a long time, the government was not interested in curbing smoking rates — and in fact, had an incentive to keep people hooked on nicotine. Vienna finally gets a smoking ban on November 1. Austria should not be called the „Europe’s ashtray“ anymore. Austria had been on the verge of bringing in a total ban last year, but the plans were overturned because of pressure from the far-right Freedom Party, which was part of the last government. “They take your taxes but say you can’t smoke,” he grumbled. Video, Nashville explosion: Camper van blows up in 'intentional act', Queen's Christmas speech: 'You are not alone', Russian historian jailed for dismembering partner. “We demonstrated back in the ’80s,” Kunze says, “that price policies are the most important strategy to control tobacco.”. On Friday, Austria became one of the last countries in Europe to ban indoor smoking. They even went so far as to incentivize the restaurant industry—they would reimburse 10% of the cost for the reconstruction work separating smokers from non-smokers enforced by a previous regulation if they changed their … Austrian MPs have scrapped a smoking ban in bars and restaurants that was scheduled to come into force in May, despite a petition in its favour collecting 545,000 signatures. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Figures from mid-November say that inspectors carried out more than 2,000 checks of restaurants and reported 27 breaches of the ban. During a turbulent session in … .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Russia bans smoking on apartment balconies, Nashville camper van explodes in 'intentional act'. We used to have to work in the smoking area. All together, these statistics put Austria in a league of smokers with Chile, China, and Turkey. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. But he says the smoking ban brings in new qualities. A pub with venerable wooden panelling and worn, ancient wallpaper, it serves deeply traditional Viennese food. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Austria was once dubbed "the ashtray of Europe" but has finally banned smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes. The coalition government fell apart. On November 1, non-smokers in Austria finally will be able to breathe easy in bars, coffee houses, and restaurants — a move the World Health Organization’s program manager for tobacco control in Europe, Kristina Mauer-Stender, applauded. Austria is second to only Lithuania among OECD countries when it comes to daily alcohol consumption, thanks in part to low taxes and cheap booze. And then you had the Speiseraum or eating room, with a little more of a distinguished atmosphere.". I can breathe much better.". Coalition governments are common, he explained, and two parties need to come to a consensus on policies. November 1, 2019—After years of political volleying and public outcry, Austria implemented a full indoor smoking ban in bars, cafes, and restaurants. And an analysis of those signatures, Szekeres says, revealed Freedom Party voters barely signed on, suggesting party supporters were compelled by the personal freedom argument. In April, Vox launched a way for readers to support our work with financial contributions — and we've been blown away by the response. However, Clemens Wratschko, himself a smoker, admits to a certain nostalgia for the smoky old days. VIENNA, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Smoking in Austrian pubs and restaurants is to be banned from Nov. 1, the lower-house National Council decided in a vote on Tuesday, according to an Austria … Its owner, Clemens Wratschko, says the atmosphere has improved and it is better for his staff as well. But after the fall of the coalition in May, the ban was reintroduced and came into force on 1 November. These businesses already have two lawsuits in the works, and Dobcak’s organization expects there will be more, as nightclubs and bars suffer financially because of liability issues, including noise complaints over smokers pouring out into the streets. The decision came after years of controversy. Smoking is banned in general in the restaurant industry but various exceptions are allowed. In nearby France, the same pack now costs 9.30 euros; and in the United Kingdom, 11.05 pounds (US $14.31) — both countries that have recently increased their cigarette prices and have lower smoking rates. VideoThe family who go all out on their Christmas cards, playRisking lives for Christmas trees. 1 among OECD countries when it comes to their penchant for cigarettes (22 percent smoke daily). “So we started 10 years later than the US.”. "My employees are nearly all smokers and I told them you will be glad because you will have no more passive smoke; you'll smoke much less than before and the next day you will feel fresher than before.". I’ve seen pregnant women lighting up as well as kids who look like they haven’t reached puberty. “This tobacco monopoly was unbelievably powerful,” Kunze says, “politically and also as far as money was concerned.” Only in 1997, was Austrian Tabak privatized, and then in 2001, sold off to Britain’s Gallaher Group, another cigarette group, for $1.6 billion. By 2015, Austria started to catch up to the 20th century: a coalition government, represented by the Social Democratic Party and the conservative Austrian People’s Party, decided to implement a total smoking ban on bars, cafés, and restaurants by spring 2018. ? Video, The family who go all out on their Christmas cards, The biggest selling single of all time. 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