After decades of concerns about cigarette smoking, many countries are currently on track to becoming smoke-free. According to this report 182 countries have already adopted a framework to control the usage of tobacco products within their localities. In line with this, almost 70% of the world’s population is now protected by at least one comprehensive tobacco control policy.
This presents huge benefits for many people, mainly non-smokers who are involuntarily exposed to the effects of secondhand smoking. On the flip side, this may cause some complications for smokers—especially those who are planning to travel. As such, traveling smokers may need to take extra considerations, as smoking regulations vary from country to country. Read on to see the list of tips we have compiled to help smokers navigate their next travel trip:
Understand the local legislation and regulations
Doing any research before traveling to another country is always important, as this helps you curate your itinerary and plan for your stay. But for smokers, looking up the local legislation and regulations in line with smoking is essential, as some countries may be more relaxed with their laws while others are heavy on penalties. For example, countries like Turkey and Egypt are pretty lax with smoking and are recognized for their hookah and shisha bars, where people can smoke in public with ease.
On the flip side, countries like Mexico prohibit smoking in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. Breaking the rules here means you can be fined anywhere between $50 and $300. As such, knowing local smoking regulations and ordinances can help you avoid any issues down the line while respecting your host destination’s smoking regulations.
Look for smoker-friendly accommodation
Following the last tip, some countries may have imposed laws largely prohibiting public smoking but allow exceptions for some designated areas. For example, Sweden does not allow smoking on public transportation but allows public establishments to have dedicated smoker’s areas, as shared here. Some smokers’ areas extend to places like hotels, where smoking lounges are available for guests.
In some hotels, these smoking considerations also come in the form of smoking rooms. These are essentially the same hotel rooms, except they are on separate floors that allow smoking. Staying at such accommodations at least ensures you have a safe space to smoke in private. That said, our guide to booking a hotel room shares that they can cost more since it takes extra care for housekeeping to clean and deodorize these rooms.
Pack smoking alternatives
Given that some countries, like New Zealand, are extremely strict with their tobacco products, you might consider packing smoking alternatives for your next trip. By doing so, you’re not suddenly forced to go cold turkey mid-trip. This is where nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products come in handy, as they can address cravings in a subtle, smoke-free fashion.
While there are many forms of NRTs, oral ones are among the most widely accessible. To find out which oral product is best for you, click here to read this post that suggests considering what smoking habits you already have. If you’re someone who smokes to satisfy an oral fixation, then nicotine gum might be for you. They are easily found and have nicotine strengths of 2mg to 6mg per piece. However, some countries like Singapore ban the use and import of chewing gum, so nicotine pouches may be a better fit in these cases. These small pouches come in various flavors (like citrus and mint) and strengths (some reaching upwards of 17mg) and can easily be disposed of after use. Using these NRTs ensures your lack of cigarettes won’t get the better of your trip.
Check for mobile apps that help smokers
Keeping track of each country’s smoking laws can be a hassle, and it’s understandable if you would rather choose to take a break from smoking for the duration of your travels. This is especially true for those who plan to visit several countries or who are too busy to research each destination’s smoking laws. One way to successfully pause your smoking is by using a cessation app. While cessation programs were designed for those intending to quit, they can also help your hiatus from smoking as you travel. These apps can help you track your mood for better regulation when you’re unable to smoke and even give tips for dealing with cravings. This helps redirect your attention toward non-smoking-related initiatives and curb your smoking desires while you’re traveling.