Smoking ban

An internationally recognizable "No Smoking" sign.
A "No Smoking" sign, as seen on most passenger flights around the world

Smoking bans (or smoke-free laws) are public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations, that prohibit tobacco smoking in workplaces and other public spaces. Legislation may also define smoking as more generally being the carrying or possessing of any lit tobacco product.[1]


  • Rationale 1
  • Evidence basis 2
    • Air quality 2.1
    • Public Health Law Research 2.2
  • History 3
  • Total tobacco ban 4
  • Cigarette advertising 5
  • Public support 6
  • Effects of smoking bans 7
    • Effects upon health 7.1
    • Effects upon tobacco consumption 7.2
    • Effects upon businesses 7.3
      • Australia 7.3.1
      • Germany 7.3.2
      • Ireland 7.3.3
      • Isle of Man 7.3.4
      • India 7.3.5
      • Philippines 7.3.6
      • Poland 7.3.7
      • Russia 7.3.8
      • United Kingdom 7.3.9
      • United States 7.3.10
    • Effects upon musical instruments 7.4
    • Effects of prison smoking restrictions 7.5
    • Compliance 7.6
  • Criticism of smoke-free laws 8
    • Government interference with personal lifestyle 8.1
    • Property rights 8.2
    • Effects on existing smoke-free businesses 8.3
    • Legality of smoke-free regulations 8.4
    • Smoke-free laws may move smoking elsewhere 8.5
    • Connection to DUI fatalities 8.6
    • Effects of funding on research literature 8.7
  • Alternatives to smoke-free laws 9
    • Incentives for voluntarily smoke-free establishments 9.1
    • Ventilation 9.2
  • Preemption 10
  • Hardship exemptions 11
  • See also 12
    • General 12.1
    • Organizations 12.2
    • People 12.3
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Sometimes smoking is prohibited for safety reasons related to the burning embers produced. Oily waste is piled up after the Exxon Valdez oil spill next to a small No Smoking sign.

The rationale for smoking bans posits that smoking is optional, whereas breathing is not. Therefore, proponents say, smoking bans are enforced to protect people from the effects of second-hand smoke, which include an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, emphysema, and other diseases.[2][3] Laws implementing bans on indoor smoking have been introduced by many countries in various forms over the years, with some legislators citing scientific evidence that shows tobacco smoking is harmful to the smokers themselves and to those inhaling second-hand smoke.

In addition such laws may reduce health care costs,[4] improve work productivity, and lower the overall cost of labour in the community thus protected, making that workforce more attractive for employers. In the US state of Indiana, the economic development agency included in its 2006 plan for acceleration of economic growth encouragement for cities and towns to adopt local smoking bans as a means of promoting job growth in communities.

Additional rationales for smoking restrictions include reduced risk of fire in areas with explosive hazards; cleanliness in places where food, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, or precision instruments and machinery are produced; decreased legal liability; potentially reduced energy use via decreased ventilation needs; reduced quantities of litter; healthier environments; and giving smokers incentive to quit.[5]