Smoking Rules

Old Jul 4, 10, 8:13 am
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Smoking Rules

Are all the German states now smoke free in all cafes & restauarants & hotel bars?
I asumed they were until i read in Lonely Planet that this might not be the case? Can someone clear this up as we are planning a trip to The Black Forrest area in October & want to avoid smoky eateries if possible.
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Old Jul 4, 10, 8:19 am
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Smoking indoors is banned in Germany. You'll be fine as long as you are inside, since smoking at tables outside is still allowed.
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Old Jul 4, 10, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by MariaSF View Post
Smoking indoors is banned in Germany. You'll be fine as long as you are inside, since smoking at tables outside is still allowed.
Are you sure?

My understanding was that smoking legislation was down to individual states (as opposed to the federal government), and that different states have different smoking laws - from a total ban in some states to laws allowing separate smoking rooms in others.
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Old Jul 5, 10, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
Are you sure?

My understanding was that smoking legislation was down to individual states (as opposed to the federal government), and that different states have different smoking laws - from a total ban in some states to laws allowing separate smoking rooms in others.
AFAIK, each state apply their own exceptions to the general ban. For example: smoking room inside a restaurant, night clubs and pubs, at outside tables. etc.

By the way, I've just heard that Bayern has just approved to restrict smoking even more. If I understood right, the only exception there will be the Oktoberfest.
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Old Jul 5, 10, 5:16 am
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Originally Posted by MariaSF View Post
AFAIK, each state apply their own exceptions to the general ban. For example: smoking room inside a restaurant, night clubs and pubs, at outside tables. etc.
Getting technical now, but my understanding is this:

  • The federal government tried to introduce a smoking ban (in 2005, IIRC)
  • The Constitutional Court ruled that smoking legislation was not within the jurisdiction of the federal government (but had to be done at state level)
  • This ruling left each state free to introduce its own smoking ban - or not! (In other words, it's the entire legislation that's done at state level, not just the exemptions)
  • There are now smoking bans in all states.


By the way, I've just heard that Bayern has just approved to restrict smoking even more. If I understood right, the only exception there will be the Oktoberfest.
I knew they were having a referendum but hadn't yet heard the outcome. That's great news!
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Old Jul 5, 10, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
Getting technical now, but my understanding is this:
And your understanding is correct.
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Old Jul 5, 10, 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
Getting technical now, but my understanding is this:
[*]There are now smoking bans in all states.
While it is true in general the extent of the ban varies considerably between the "states".
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Old Jul 6, 10, 4:54 pm
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the referendum in Bavaria was 61% pro for the strongest smoking-ban law in all German states.
From August on smoking is absolutely prohibited in every gastronomical location, including Oktoberfest as well (but for Oktoberfest this rule will start in 2011).
So you can be sure from August on to have your meals in complete smoke free places.
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Old Jul 7, 10, 3:29 am
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In Baden Württemberg (this is where the black forest is) smoking is banned in large aprts of the restaurant. just ask for a non smoking table. However in some cases you will see signs that say that this estabishment is non smoking.

Don't worry and enjoy my part of the world.
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Old Jul 7, 10, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by moeve View Post
In Baden Württemberg (this is where the black forest is) smoking is banned in large aprts of the restaurant. just ask for a non smoking table. However in some cases you will see signs that say that this estabishment is non smoking.

Don't worry and enjoy my part of the world.
Thanks, i've not been back to Baden Württemberg since the smoking ban was introduced
Will the signs on the restaurant say Rauchen Frei or Keine Rauchen?
Do the same rules apply to snack bars where there is inside seating?
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Old Jul 7, 10, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Tanya934 View Post
Thanks, i've not been back to Baden Württemberg since the smoking ban was introduced
Will the signs on the restaurant say Rauchen Frei or Keine Rauchen?
Do the same rules apply to snack bars where there is inside seating?
signs may say "bitte nicht Rauchen" or "Rauchen nicht gestattet" but in most cases you have the non-smoking symbol showing a crossed out cigarette, which is clear for everybody.

Yes the rules also apply to snack bars.
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Old Jul 8, 10, 2:15 am
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Big give away are the ashtrays outside the door This means smokers need to step outside..
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Old Jul 8, 10, 2:23 am
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In Berlin you can smoke in bars up to a certain size, where food isn't served. I saw something in the press the other day that there may be another call to introduce a countrywide ban similar to that in Bavaria.
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