Sweden has banned smoking in certain outdoor places, including train stations, playgrounds, school grounds, sports fields, hospitals, outdoor areas of restaurants, and entrances to smokers' booths, among others.
The ban, which went into effect on Monday, includes e-cigarettes and tobacco substitutes. It follows a May 2005 law which banned smoking in restaurants and bars.
According to Sputnik News, owners of the premises will be required to enforce the laws, including removing ashtrays and hanging signs, as well as insisting violators put out their cigarettes. Owners who do not comply with the ban will suffer a penalty, and the smokers violating the ban will be fined.
Israel has similar laws, including for e-cigarettes, but rarely enforces them. In the event that a non-smoker is bothered by a smoker violating the law, the non-smoker must call the municipal or police hotline and wait for a supervisor to appear. Often, this takes several hours, and almost always the smoker has disappeared or put out the cigarette by the time law enforcement arrives.
The Swedish government aims to make the country smoke-free by 2025. If it succeeds, Sweden will become the first country to completely ban the unhealthy practice.
Official figures show that 11% of Swedes smoke daily, with another 10% smoking occasionally, AP News reported. DW noted that according to European Union statistics, Sweden has the lowest percentage of daily smokers. Sputnik noted that the country also has the highest percentage of former smokers.