You don’t hear much about smoking bans anymore. Pretty much everywhere that’s going to pass smoking bans has already done it by now.
Austria has apparently been lagging behind the rest of Western Europe. However, it will soon become the latest country to ban smoking in cafes and restaurants.
Austria joins Spain, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, all of Scandinavia, Hungary, France, the Netherlands and all of the Baltic states in having a nationwide indoor smoking ban. Most of the European countries that don’t have smoking bans are in Eastern Europe, where smoking rates are incredibly high.
The Austrian Chamber of Commerce announced it plans to appeal the ban, which won’t go into effect until 2018. Cafe owners who implement the ban in 2016 will receive compensation from the Austrian government to make up for possible losses in revenues.
A far-right party called the Freedom Party, said it would get rid of the law if it wins parliamentary elections. (Nothing sends a chill down the spine quite like “far right” and “Austria” in the same sentence.)