Berlin Qualmfrei

Qualmfrei refers to (a) “smoke-free” (zone). I never noticed this before, so starting January 2006, several cafes and restaurants issued a note that they are taking part in this initiative/program. Which means, you are not allowed to smoke inside anymore.

This may be surprising for a lot of folks from outside Germany/Europe since for example in the United States, I don’t remember being allowed to smoke virtually anywhere. It’s not like there are hordes of people outside, but when you walk through NYC you see people smoking outside of restaurants, offices or whatever everywhere.

So to me, it seems like we preserved a bit of liberalism for us, since you are or were allowed to smoke almost everywhere in Germany. Except maybe at airports or the train station. So don’t worry, we are catching up.

This also reminds me that I read somewhere that around 3,000 people (in Germany) die each year from passive smoking. So 2006 ought to be very healthy. Hooray for us.

2 Comments so far

  1. Philipp (unregistered) on January 5th, 2006 @ 2:57 am

    There was a smoking ban at 22C3 in the Berlin Conference Center – the effect was that about 60% of the conference happened outside. As an added sidenote, since Jan 1st, smoking is forbidden in Austria’s train stations, and as of today, nobody gives a flying fuck. :)

  2. till (unregistered) on January 5th, 2006 @ 11:44 am

    Oh, yeah? So Austria is with us. ;)

    I also heard Spain has a new very restrictive law about smoking. The most restrictive in Europe (or something like that).

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