A new survey by Synovate that was commissioned by the Swedish Network of Tobacco Prevention reveals that 73 percent of Swedes support a ban on smoking in the outdoor dining sections of restaurants. This would suggest that Swedes are getting tired of second hand smoke, even within the well-ventilated realm of the great outdoors.
The Local newspaper reports that the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union (HRF) is demanding the government extend its existing 2005 ban on smoking in all licensed premises. The original ban proved very popular with Swedes, leading the Parliament to establish a goal of expanding this notion against exposure to passive smoking in public by 2014.
Whether it will continue to apply only to public restaurants and bars or extend into the open-air realm of public life has yet to been seen. But the days of smoking in public in Sweden could be drawing to a close, especially since younger Swedes are the ones most in favour of extending the ban.
The survey suggests that a great majority support banning smoking in all public places and on all public transport. Some 86 percent of the respondents, including two-thirds of regular smokers, support the parliament’s 2014 goal. While non-smokers were twice as enthusiastic about the ban, a surprising 40 percent of smokers also back an extension of the ban.
Ireland was the first nation to implement a nationwide ban on public smoking in 2004. But Bhutan has taken it one step further by completely banning the sale and smoking of all tobacco products in public, the only nation on earth to do so.