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Smoking Sections… Again?

Smoking Sections… Again?

Friday, 25 November. It was a headline in the U-Bahn daily Heute that got the talk started all over again: In the current negotiations on the new governing coalition, “an agreement was imminent” to make smoking illegal in all bars and restaurants in Austria. And just as quickly, a denial came from Lisa Fuchs, spokeswoman […]

Civility and the Law

On Sunday, 23 September, the Swiss voted by a two-thirds majority against a total smoking ban, in some cantons over 70% against. Only in Geneva, with its high percentage of internationals, did a majority of 51.6% vote in favour. Like the Austrians, the Swiss seem to have opted for a complex solution that allows alternative […]

Smoking Central Europe

At an international tourism summit on Mar. 9 in Berlin, the Austrian Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner admitted that the present complicated tobacco legislation, involving partitions and exemptions, had been a mistake. “A general ban on smoking in gastronomy should have been passed,” he was quoted as saying in Styria’s Kleine Zeitung. “A complete solution is […]

Going Smoke Free

Like a child reluctantly tugging at a band-aid, Austria is slowly, painfully but inevitably entering the modern enlightened era of passive-smoke protection. Like the inalienable right to puff away on the public transport and in cinemas, the inalienable right to smoke in bars and restaurants is becoming an anachronism. Yet there is still a lot […]

Smoke Screen Reloaded

Another rainy day in October and I’m looking for shelter, holding a bag over my head in a futile attempt to stay dry. I spot a café and dash towards it in eager anticipation of hot coffee and tranquility but as soon as my hand reaches for the door I freeze up. A red square […]

Brussels Weighs in On Smoking Laws

Although overshadowed by the Greek Debt Crisis and pressure on the Euro, the discussion of national smoking laws continues. However, the support for a possible intervention from Brussels has been dampened in Austria by falling restaurant profits as the financial crisis reaches consumers. As people start trimming their household budgets where ever they can, going […]

Smoking for Diversity

Are there limits to what EU supranationalism should dictate? How far should the EU be going vis-à-vis identity? While European integration is incredibly valuable and highly beneficial for the continent’s 400 million inhabitants, lines have to be drawn when “harmonizing” starts to dilute the cultural identity of its member states. On what level is someone […]

Nicotine Haven

It’s a desperate time for Europe’s smokers. All the decadent societies of legend – Italy, France, Spain, as well as the UK, Germany and the Netherlands – have joined the ranks of the European Union-wide smoking ban, which applies to all restaurants, cafes and bars, and sends legions of frantic smokers out onto windblown balconies […]

Smoke Signals From Davidoff

Smoke Signals From Davidoff

With the spectre of a new smoking ban effective as of Jan. 1, 2009, cigar lovers from all over Vienna gathered on Nov. 6 to celebrate the launch of a new cigar line by Davidoff. The first Cuban cigar launch since the 1980s, the four new cigars have been named after Britain’s great wartime prime […]

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