So how did Austria get it so wrong, when other Western countries legislated against cigarettes years ago? “We have 500 shisha bars with several hundred employees in Austria — they will be wiped out,” he says. The world’s most livable city is a smoker’s paradise. Tobacco harms the health, the treasury, and the collective spirit of Austria. (Shutterstock/Brian Kinney) Smoking in Austrian bars and restaurants will be banned as of November following a vote in parliament on Tuesday, after … © 2020 BBC. 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 … A pub with venerable wooden panelling and worn, ancient wallpaper, it serves deeply traditional Viennese food. It has one of the highest rates of teen smokers in Europe. “[It’s] important to see all countries introducing a smoke-free legislation with no further delay,” she said in a statement to Vox. What happens to your body in extreme heat? Austria was once dubbed "the ashtray of Europe" but has finally banned smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes. The FBI is leading the investigation into the blast that left three injured on Christmas morning. VideoRisking lives for Christmas trees, playThe refugees feeding a nation. 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. 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. The clothes smell better the next day. A 20-pack of Marlboros costs 5.50 euros (US $6.14), an increase of only .60 euro since 2014. 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. 1 among OECD countries when it comes to their penchant for cigarettes (22 percent smoke daily). And Austria hasn’t seen its smoking rate change since 1997, one of only two European Union member states with that distinction (the other is Slovakia). But the ban is just one small step toward cracking down on tobacco here. I’ve gulped down cigarette smoke on cafe patios, in restaurants, and in my brief waits at tram and bus stops. 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. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. 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. On Friday, Austria became one of the last countries in Europe to ban indoor smoking. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. 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. Austria is well known for its high smoking rates and is one of the last European countries to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. 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’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. “They take your taxes but say you can’t smoke,” he grumbled. 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. Help us reach our goal by making a contribution to Vox today, from as little as $3. Some restaurants and cafes went non-smoking several years ago, but others allowed smoking until the last possible minute. If any of these places are caught allowing a customer to smoke, they are fined €2,200 and the person smoking is fined €350. Coalition governments are common, he explained, and two parties need to come to a consensus on policies. 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 … Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. And that is not going to be overwhelmed by the smoke, Of course it is better for me and my work. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Parliamentarians approved the ban in July in a bid to rid Austria of its status as the " VideoThe biggest selling single of all time. VideoThe refugees feeding a nation, playThe biggest selling single of all time. If you want to smoke, fine - your decision if you want to get lung cancer. On Friday, Austria became one of the last countries in Europe to ban indoor smoking. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. Down the road at Café Rüdigerhof, I met Ricci, who has been a waiter for 25 years. We want to add 2,020 more founding contributors to our supporter base by the end of the year. ? The decision was opposed by Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, tobacco store owners, and the leisure and gastronomy industries, among others. A tradition of dominant influence of the tobacco industry, coupled with a strong resistance from tobacconists, the hospitality sector, and parts of the population, impeded for a long time, any effective, comprehensive tobacco control legislation. The scandal, known as the Ibiza affair, had a surprising benefit for public health: an interim government passed the smoking ban. Conservative … The smell in the restaurant is much better, because now you just smell the soup coming out of the kitchen, and the food. The coalition government fell apart. Austria had been on the … It is banned in all subway stations in Vienna and in the entire country’s railway stations. And we feel a bit healthier, a bit less of a headache.". In general the ban seems to be holding in Vienna. In April, Vox launched a way for readers to support our work with financial contributions — and we've been blown away by the response. I think it is not a problem. Parliament on Tuesday passed a ban on smoking in Austria's bars and restaurants, extinguishing a flagship policy of the recently collapsed right-wing … The demonstration was attended by the disgraced former head of the far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache. Fourteen thousand people here die every year from causes related to smoking. 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. By Bethany Bell BBC News, Vienna. But last month, around 700 people protested against it in front of the Federal Chancellery. Szekeres’s organization helped launch a petition opposing the government’s scrapping of the smoking ban, which got nearly 900,000 signatures (a sizable number in a country of 8.8 million). During a turbulent session in … He thinks people will come back to the night clubs, like they did in France, Italy and other countries which have introduced smoking bans. We used to have to work in the smoking area. But it's much better. .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'. 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. 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. 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. 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 … The decision came after years of controversy. A survey by an Austrian news magazine suggests that most Austrians are in favour of the ban. "Maybe I am a bit sentimental. “In Austria, nothing similar happened until 1974,” says Michael Kunze, Medical University of Vienna public health professor emeritus and long-time tobacco researcher. ", Ricci says he is very pleased about the ban. In my pub, you had the very old rooms at the front, with the bar, with the taste of smoke and alcohol. People, the tourists, expect it.”. “We demonstrated back in the ’80s,” Kunze says, “that price policies are the most important strategy to control tobacco.”. “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.”. 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. “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. 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. Brexit trade deal: What were the big themes in the talks? The smoking ban exists mainly for health reasons. During this time, Gabriele Fischer, a University of Vienna psychiatrist who studies addiction, says the media in Austria did a poor job of reporting on the smoking ban, giving the pro-smoking lobby too much attention and creating a false balance between two unequal ideas. Smoking ban: Austria's cafe society calls time on cigarettes. “I’m working with [people from] developing countries and when they visit, they can’t believe you can go into restaurants and smoke everywhere.”. And then you had the Speiseraum or eating room, with a little more of a distinguished atmosphere.". Read about our approach to external linking. Many Western countries have banned smoking in bars and restaurants, but Austria is bucking that trend. 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. Last May came a surprising twist in the story of Austria’s long road to a smoking ban: Strache, then the Freedom Party leader, was caught on tape appearing receptive to trading government contracts for positive news coverage with a woman posing as a Russian oligarch. 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’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. Austrian Parliament yesterday voted to scrap an impending ban on smoking on bars and restaurants across the country. Sixty percent of the city’s residents live in government-subsidized housing — something politicians routinely boast about. Parliament on Tuesday passed a ban on smoking in Austria's bars and restaurants, extinguishing a flagship policy of the recently collapsed right-wing government which had scrapped the measure after it was already on the statute books. "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. Not everyone shares Dobcak’s sentiments. 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. “[This was] a typical ‘Austrian solution’ as we would say here,” says Jakob-Moritz Eberl, a political science researcher at the University of Vienna. But it's much better. “[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.”. What about bars, restaurants, etc. .css-orcmk8-HeadlineContainer{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}Nashville explosion: Camper van blows up in 'intentional act'.css-1dedj2h-Rank{-webkit-align-self:center;-ms-flex-item-align:center;align-self:center;color:#B80000;margin-left:3.125rem;}1, Queen's Christmas speech: 'You are not alone'3, Russian historian jailed for dismembering partner4, Brexit trade deal: What were the big themes in the talks?5, Australian expeditioner evacuated from Antarctica in five-day mission6, Boko Haram kill villagers in Christmas Eve attack7, Michael Jackson: Neverland Ranch 'sold to billionaire for $22m'8, Bridgerton: Everything you need to know about the Netflix drama9, Brexit: What you need to know about the UK leaving the EU10. Part of this lag was due to an enormous conflict of interest at the heart of regulating tobacco here: The country’s tobacco industry was dominated by Austria Tabak, a state monopoly that controlled the production and distribution of cigarettes. And until a few weeks ago, it would have been full of cigarette smoke. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. Vienna finally gets a smoking ban on November 1. “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. Tobacco control in Austria has long fallen behind other high-income countries. This year, support from our founding contributors has helped us create projects that millions relied on to understand a year of chaos, and to keep their families safe. For now, even the cigarette ban will continue to face challenges, Dobcak told Vox. Austria should not be called the „Europe’s ashtray“ anymore. November 1, 2019—After years of political volleying and public outcry, Austria implemented a full indoor smoking ban in bars, cafes, and restaurants. But he says the smoking ban brings in new qualities. While there’s a 78 percent tax on cigarettes, they are still relatively cheap in Austria. Perhaps, as a result, they have one of the lowest maternal death rates in the world. 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. From 2013, law enforcement has been implemented, and smoking is strictly forbidden in closed public areas, including bars, pubs, restaurants etc. Its owner, Clemens Wratschko, says the atmosphere has improved and it is better for his staff as well. “There’s no discussion [in Austria] about tobacco taxes,” says University of Vienna’s Jakob-Moritz Eberl. The public transit system is world-class (in two months here, I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus or tram). Figures from mid-November say that inspectors carried out more than 2,000 checks of restaurants and reported 27 breaches of the ban. Then last year, a new coalition — between the former conservative chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, and the far-right Freedom Party — decided to stymie the ban. A major part of the reason for the high quality of life is the government intervenes in just about every aspect of people’s existence. 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. New York poised to ban smoking and walking at the same time 22 Mar 2018 While much of the West has barred smoking in restaurants and bars, Austria’s impending ban is set to be stubbed out. 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. Statistics from Krebshilfe and the Medical Association show that in Austria every year 14,000 smokers die directly and 1,000 people indirectly from the consequences of passive smoking. A petition to ban smoking in Austria’s bars and restaurants has managed to collect more than 200,000 signatures since 15 February, and the issue will now have to be debated in parliament. Smoking is banned in general in the restaurant industry but various exceptions are allowed. I’ve seen pregnant women lighting up as well as kids who look like they haven’t reached puberty. We used to have to work in the smoking area. I’ve been served by a waiter with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. And the smoking statistics prove it. Video, Nashville explosion: Camper van blows up in 'intentional act', Queen's Christmas speech: 'You are not alone', Russian historian jailed for dismembering partner. According to the draft bill, the hotel industry will have a complete smoking ban for all guest rooms. Up until now, smoking had been legal in small bars and restaurants, and allowed smoking rooms in hospitality venues larger than 50 square meters. July 2, 2019 1:03 pm Lawmakers in the Austrian parliament Tuesday voted to ban smoking inside bars and restaurants following years of negotiations. “There’s even more discussion about sugar taxes here.” He thinks this is mostly a political failure, though the strong coffee house tradition hasn’t helped. Some bars and nightclubs have complained that fewer customers are coming since the ban and that they have lost between 15% and 25% of turnover. Austria's minister of health has announced a plan to completely ban smoking in all restaurants by 2018. “It was really a shame,” she says, particularly because the status quo has been an embarrassment. 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. “A ban is a ban.” A maître d’ in nearby Fabios said the popular Italian restaurant-bar had gone smoke-free a year ago with little impact on its bottom line. "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.". Adult women are No. However, due to the generally long duration of hotel stays, they are also to be given an opportunity to build strictly separated smoking rooms for guests. Smoking is not permitted inside trains, trams, buses and other enclosed forms of public transport (such as taxis and hire cars). Video, The family who go all out on their Christmas cards, The biggest selling single of all time. Viennese tap water, which trickles into the city from the Alps, is legendary. Shisha bars are currently taking legal steps to try to get an exception for their businesses. The decision came after years of controversy. The ban is symbolic of the Austrian tendency of trying to “control everything to death,” argued Peter Dobcak, the tourism and leisure chair of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. I can breathe much better, Russia bans smoking on apartment balconies, The family who go all out on their Christmas cards. But Clemens Wratschko says he hasn't noticed any drop in numbers. I can breathe much better.". All together, these statistics put Austria in a league of smokers with Chile, China, and Turkey. Austria has more than double the rate of daily smokers compared to the US, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (24.3 percent versus 10.5 percent of the population over age 15). 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. It’s “normal progress in the world. 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. Passive smoking, however, is not okay and dangerous. (This, I can attest, results in establishments that are still pretty smokey.) Published. "People want to go out and meet their friends, to enjoy a kind of atmosphere. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Austria was once dubbed "the ashtray of Europe" but has finally banned smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes. Customers wishing to eat in the non-smoking area at the back had to walk through the smoky bar to get there. Vienna, Austria / Sun, November 3, 2019 / 10:02 pm Guests of a Vienna's Cafe/Bar smoke cigarettes with their drinks in Vienna, Austria, on March 22, … 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. “So we started 10 years later than the US.”. But after the fall of the coalition in May, the ban was reintroduced and came into force on 1 November. The law is certainly controversial, but what’s most surprising is that it took this long to be implemented. 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A ban on smoking in Austrian bars and restaurants took effect Friday, making it one of the last European countries to stub out the habit in indoor public places after years of protracted debate and protests. Australian expeditioner evacuated from Antarctica in five-day mission, Boko Haram kill villagers in Christmas Eve attack, Michael Jackson: Neverland Ranch 'sold to billionaire for $22m', Bridgerton: Everything you need to know about the Netflix drama, Brexit: What you need to know about the UK leaving the EU. "We have better air. Smaller outfits could opt out altogether, allowing people to keep smoking. 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. 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