Smoking ban takes effect in Iceland Skip to content

Smoking ban takes effect in Iceland

New regulations regarding smoking take effect today; from now on it is prohibited to smoke in restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés across Iceland. The main reason for the smoking ban is to protect the health of restaurant workers.

“Indirect smoking can be very dangerous to people’s health. It can have short term effects like irritation to the eyes and throat, but also more serious effects like increasing the risk of heart attacks, lung cancer and hemorrhage,” as described on the Public Health Institute of Iceland website.

A statement from the Public Health Institutes reads: “The change […] is a very important advance in public health, tobacco control and occupational health in Iceland. The laws are particularly important for people working in bars and restaurants.”

It goes on to say: “Since 1999 they [bar and restaurant workers] have been one of the few professions having to work in smoking environments. From now on all workers enjoy the same right of a smoke-free workplace.”

Restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés in Iceland from now on will be completely smoke-free; there will be no designated smoking areas inside. Smoking is restricted in outdoor areas as well. Establishments may allow smoking outdoors, provided good airflow is secured.

Smoking bans have already taken effect in 14 US states, nine provinces in Canada and seven states in Australia. Restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés have been smoke-free in Ireland since March 2004 and in Norway since June 2004.

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