Central & Eastern Europe Travel Specialists since 2006
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New Czech Smoking Laws, 4 months on

It’s been 4 months since the Czech Republic’s new laws about smoking in public places came into effect.

Unlike outright bans that have been enacted in many other European countries, the Czech Republic’s legislation has been accused of merely preserving the status quo. But what effect has it had.?

Three signs

The law says that one of the three sample signs shown above should be displayed by the door of any dining or drinking establishment, according to the smoking policy of the venue.

Koureni Povoleno = Smoking Permitted

If you see this sign you can pretty much translate this as – “this place will likely be a smoky den of iniquity”. If you’re at all sensitive about cigarette smoke, you may want to avoid these places.

Stavebne Oddelene Prostory pro Kuraky a Nekuraky = Physically separated spaces for smokers and non-smokers

Many places have moved to this type of arrangement, designating a room as a ‘smoking room’.

Koureni Zakazano = Smoking forbidden

Non-smoking establishments are slowly gaining ground, particularly in Prague.

Gradually the clouds are lifting

After 4 months of the legislation, I’d have to say that it is a move in the right direction whilst appeasing the still numerous smokers amongst the Czech and expat populations. The ‘Smoking Permitted’ sign seems to put people off, rather than encourage them so by making the smoking policy of a venue clear up front, the venue is exposed to market forces. There are spit & sawdust pubs where everyone smokes anyway. On the other hand there are pubs serving micro-brews and mid-range and upscale restaurants that don’t have split areas, which had to choose smoking or non-smoking and have realised that smokers aren’t essential to their business, or will put up with going outside for a cigarette, so they’ve gone non-smoking. Essentially, the market is deciding, instead of the government.

Charlie takes care of the marketing side of things at JayWay Travel. A long-term Prague resident, his interests are cooking, eating out, cycling, skiing and travel.

3 Responses to New Czech Smoking Laws, 4 months on

  1. The state of Maryland banned smoking in restaurants and bars back in 2008.I think that is going a little to far.The funny thing is,I have never smoked a cigarette in my life.I am a Libertarian on that issue.I believe that you need to leave it up to the eating establisment or the bar owner.

    • You can smoke outside, unless there are signs saying you can’t – bus terminals and bus shelters are an example of a place where smoking is forbidden.

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