Smoking is very widespread in Slovakia - over a third of the population smoke. Ban on smoking has been in force since September 2009 - banning smokers from every business serving food.
Smoking in restaurants, cafés and pubs
All restaurants are fully or partially non-smoking. Most cafés and pubs still allow smoking, but can not serve food due to the anti-smoking law requirements. The number of non-smoking cafes has been growing mainly in the pedestrian zone of the Old Town. Most tea-houses are strictly non-smoking and in cake shops and fast-food restaurants smoking is prohibited by law.
Smoking is permitted in most open areas with some exceptions. According to the Slovak law smoking is prohibited: on trains (except for designated smoking carriages) and all public transport vehicles, at sanitary facilities, schools and universities, children's playgrounds, bureaus, theatres, cinemas, shops and galleries.
Public transport stations and stops
Smoking is also prohibited at the train and bus stations as well as on platforms and bus stops. The non-smoking signs at the Main Train Station in Bratislava (Hlavna Stanica) are missing or very small, but the police is present and often fine smokers. As lots of people used to smoke on the bus stops, the new law forbids smoking at the bus stops and in the distance of four metres from the marked platform.
Selling cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 is prohibited as well. Lots of the prohibitions are not being kept, mainly smoking at the bus stops and playgrounds. However, the fine for breaking this law can be up to |166|.
Where you can buy cigarettes
Cigarettes can be bought at kiosks, newspaper stands, gas stations and most supermarkets. Some restaurants, cafés and pubs sell cigarettes. The offer is usually limited to one or two brands. Pubs with cigarettes vending machines offer a wider range of brands. In general the Slovak market offers a wide range of tobacco products and cigarette brands from American to British, Czech and Austrian.
According to the law the prices of cigarettes must be the same no matter where bought. In spite of governmental price and tax hikes, cigarettes are still cheaper than in Western Europe. The cheapest cost approx. |2.30| per pack of 20 cigarettes. The most expensive cost |3| per pack.
Slovakia applies the following quantity limitations on import of tobacco products: 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars and 205 grams of smoking tobacco per person.
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