June 1, 2009

Smoking in Portugal

Portugal has a typically flexible approach to smoking in its cafes and bars.

Smoking in Portugal

As in many other countries in the EU, Portugal introduced a smoking ban in public places on January 1 2008.

However bars and cafes can opt to be classified as "smoking bars" if they follow a set of strict guidelines and install adequate ventilation. Portuguese bars smaller than 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) cannot allow smoking.

Look out for the signs on the door of the cafe: blue smoking; red no-smoking.

Smoking in Portugal

Smokers who break the law face fines of up to €1000 and businesses that flout the legislation will face a fine of up to €2500.

Interestingly, Antonio Nunes, the president of Portugal's food standards agency, which enforces the anti-smoking legislation, was photographed smoking a cigar in a Lisbon casino, the very day the law came in to effect. In May of 2008, Portugal's Prime Minister José Sócrates lit up in the first class section of a flight to Caracas, unaware he was also breaking the law.

Yesterday was "World No Smoking Day."

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