Austrian parliament votes to ban smoking in bars and restaurants

Lawmakers in the Austrian parliament Tuesday voted to ban smoking inside bars and restaurants following years of negotiations.

The far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) was the only party to oppose the ban.

Social Democrats leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner, who brought forward the plans, said it is a “political day of rejoicing” and a “good day for the health of Austrians.” She said the ban would especially improve the health of staff working in restaurants and bars.

Its expected to become effective as of November 1. Smoking outside restaurants and bars, such as on terraces, will still be allowed.

Previous plans to implement a ban from spring 2018 were abandoned last year after the Peoples Party (ÖVP) headed by former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz entered a governing coalition with the FPÖ, which had made scrapping the ban a key campaign promise.

The government collapsed in May, bringing in a technocratic interim Cabinet until a snap election scheduled for the fall. The ÖVP Read More – Source

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