• Austria's news in English

Smoking ban bill to become law

The Local · 8 Jul 2015, 07:41

Published: 08 Jul 2015 07:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The ban covers smoking in “all public places where food and drinks are manufactured, sold and consumed" and affects many restaurants and cafes which are currently exempt under a 2009 law.

Most restaurant and cafe owners are strongly opposed to a total ban as they say their businesses will suffer and complain that they invested millions of euros to create smoking and non-smoking areas.

Business owners who break the law will face a €2,000 fine and smokers caught smoking in restaurants, cafes and bars will be fined €100. Alongside cigarettes and cigars, the law also covers e-cigarettes and shisha pipes.

The ban will also be enforced in schools and open spaces where children and teenagers are supervised - including sports clubs and rehearsal spaces. It will not cover private club rooms used by adults. Smoking will also be banned in hotel rooms and bed and breakfasts, but “strictly separate” smoking areas will be provided.

There are tax incentives for businesses who enforce the ban before July 1st 2016. A tax bonus of 30 percent will apply, the value of which is related to previous costs in setting up smoking and non-smoking areas.

Austria has some of the worst smoking statistics in Europe - with only Greeks, Bulgarians and Latvians smoking more. Around 14,000 people a year die in Austria from tobacco-related illnesses.

A large majority is expected to vote for the bill in parliament, with only the right-wing Freedom Party and Team Stronach voting against it - saying that it endangers Austria’s bar and cafe culture and smacks of a ‘nanny state’.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available