Special Smoking Ban: What is true for Authorities, Public Buildings and Facilities?

Because of the dangers of passive smoking and to protect non-smokers, a comprehensive ban on smoking in public places has become law. Where can you still smoke, what applies at work and what at home?

The smoking ban does not apply to private areas, but only to public spaces in public buildings and facilities like government agencies and other state institutions. In addition, smoking in closed public spaces of cultural institutions such as theaters, concert halls, museums and many others is prohibited. Even in hospitals, retirement homes, rehabilitation centers and prisons. Smoking is banned in enclosed spaces, if they are publicly accessible.


No smoking ban applies to premises that are not intended for public access, such as apartments in retirement homes. In closed sports facilities smoking is also banned.


No smoking ban exists at events under the open sky, e.g. in an open soccer stadium. In schools and other educational institutions, smoking is also prohibited. A general smoking ban for the school building as well as the entire school premises is already in force in Bavaria since the school year 2006/2007. Now, the smoking corners at school have disappeared. The ban applies to students, teachers, and visitors.

In particular for the protection of the non-smokers the state parliaments have passed laws for a comprehensive prohibition of smoking. Since July 1, 2008, the last Non-Smokers Protection Acts (Nichtraucherschutzgesetze) have come into force in North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia. With this being true, all federal states have created the legal basis for a prohibition of smoking for the protection of the non-smokers. It is in effect for all publicly accessible buildings and closed rooms, trains, not only for public facitlities ( like hospitals, government buildings, theaters etc.), but also for restaurants. Offenses against the prohibition of smoking are sanctioned with a penalty which can amount even up to 5,000 Euros in Saxony. For buildings, the responsible persons are obliged legally to seize countermeasures to an offense. They must point out clearly that in the building a prohibition of smoking is in effect. in case of an offense the smoker must be asked to stop smoking and in case of refusal the person can be expelled from the building. If he refuses to obey, the police is to be called.


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