The Swedish smoking ban

The new, very strange, smoking ban introduced on the 1st of July 2019 means:

  • No smoking outside a café or restaurant even with out door seating
  • Ni smoking outside entrances to official buildings
  • No smoking at bus stops or train platforms
  • Playgrounds etc

More or less outside all official buildings. So why “strange”? Cause it’s not up to the police to keep an eye on people it is up to non smokers to report if someone smokes and if so the owner of the Bar, Café or Restaurant is the one who will be punished with a fine or a withdrawn right to serve alcohol. It’s actually not far from the old Eastern Europe where people was supposed to spy on each other and report it.

Now I don’t think it will be so much trouble in Sweden since there is an alternative, “snus”, and the use of snus will most likely be higher at the end of 2019 than when the year started so believe me when I say that the Government will put a new tax on it.

And if you as a smoker decide to visit Sweden remember that the ban includes electric cigarettes even if you vape and the only thing you breath out is warm water steam without smell or anything else which can disturb others. The only place I’ve visited with a similar law was the central parts of Brisbane in Australia. But at least they allowed the owners of bars and restaurants to decide if vaping was allowed or not.

So why this reaction? I’m not living in Sweden at the moment, not living in the country in the European Union with the highest crime rate according to statistics in Europe, but I do visit at least once a year. So it hit me that I usually stay at “Central Hotel” in Stockholm and their entrance is in between their own out door seating and a café and behind a bus stop, so to move away from the entrance to follow the law is not possible cause you just end up close to another place where you can’t smoke. So if the hotel don’t install smoking rooms or allow smoking in some rooms there is no chance I would book there again. A pity cause I really like the place since the location is perfect when visiting Stockholm.

In any case, if you smoke and visit Sweden from the 1st of July 2019 be sure to check the hotel booking site how the Hotel solved the smoking situation and ask them before you book. It is possible you will end up at a hotel where you can’t smoke within 200 meters from the entrance caused by other business next door don’t allow smoking. And even if the only smoke you have each day is the one with your morning coffee, and even if you need to go outdoors you like it to be close the where you live don’t you? Or to take beer in the hotel bar without the possibility to “pop out” for a smoke (not even electronics) between the drinks… Fun?

So, without a opportunity to smoke close by don’t spend your money there and let the owners know why. This must come from tourists cause Swedes are to lame to not follow the rules of big brother.

Björn

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