Smoke-free Bucharest

As of midnight tonight it will be illegal to smoke in any indoor public space, anywhere in Romania.

How long have we waited for this day?

A smoke-free Bucharest, a smoke-free Romania and… we are not there to enjoy it. Still, we are back on Monday, and look forward to taking the family out for dinner at the restaurant of their choosing, safe in the knowledge that we will not all smell like a packet of Kent at the end of the evening.

PS We went to Haveli on Sunday night to pick up a takeaway (Who cooks on Sundays?) and noticed that they had already imposed a ban on smoking inside: there were three or four chaps tabbing away at the entrance.

PPS We eagerly await despatches from our reader(s) of how the law is enforced (or not) over the first few days. Which venue will be the first to be closed down by the authorities for ignoring the ban?


34 thoughts on “Smoke-free Bucharest

  1. “PPS We eagerly await despatches from our reader(s) of how the law is enforced (or not)”………….I’ll be reporting Live from Brasov at Deane’s Irish Pub later on today. The staff are happy about the ban but I am not so sure about the drinkers?


      1. It appears and not for the first time that I have got my knickers in a twist. I understood that the 16th was the day that smoking was kaputted for good? I’ve been out and about in Brasov and the pubs and coffee joints are full of smokers. One barmaid (a right fag ash Lil) had no idea of any smoking ban? Just stared at me blankly whilst blowing smoke all over my boat. Probably a government hoax or a glitch in the matrix?


      2. Alright don’t shout, blimey! I got it into my head months ago that the 16th was the first day of fresh air in any pub. So if you’re out tonight in a pub that still hasn’t banned smoking (Most of Bacau did more than 6 months ago) and light up at a minute to midnight, does that mean you must put it out on the stroke of midnight or face the firing squad?


      3. Your favorite Brasov boozer ‘Deano’s’ has banned smoking and right now is fully packed with punters and not one of them is bothered. Upstairs outside no one is smoking a fag…


      4. Which is why I planned my diet for today, in advance of the cafe and restaurant grand tour that I’m gonna do tomorrow…


  2. Now that it’s a done deal and peoples’ civil rights and liberties were taken away by the totalitarian law, I can’t wait myself to rediscover the taste of my favorite food from my favorite cafe without it being mixed with smoke.

    Cause you can’t enjoy the best of your food unless you enjoy the smell of it too. I’ll be reporting tomorrow! I’m sure today the place still smells like a furnace, as it was on Monday…


  3. This is undoubtedly the right move, yet I confess the smoking in Romania always brings on some good nostalgia. I remember the segregated smoking/non smoking dining rooms in the US back in the day. Bucharest takes me back there…



    Gio Cafe on Toma Caragiu street is smoke-free.

    They don’t appear to be missing customers though, the occupancy is as it’s always been for this day and hour.


  5. Just heard a brilliant story from our correspondent at the Deutsche Kneipe: place full, nobody smoking, owner says does not expect it to hurt business, but did complain about people keep going outside to smoke and opening the door: ‘curent.’


    1. St Patricks much the same, plenty of business, makes a change to see the smokers relegated to the brisk pleasures of the terrace.


  6. UPDATE 2

    Back in ol’ Berceni, at my favorite local restaurant (L’Incontro) which only a week ago used to smell like a furnace, there wasn’t even a shade of smoke this evening.

    Occupancy rate was lower than what you would expect for a UEFA Cup evening, however…


  7. Anyone know how electronic cigarettes are factoring into the ban? I expect to see billows of vapour smoke very soon…and pub staff freaking out.


      1. They are allowed, because they’re not forbidden and their use is not defined as smoking.

        But the juridical analysis is difficult to make here because it involves watching two Romanian legal texts in tandem (legea 349/2002 and legea 15/2016), the later one adding and modifying the former.

        The definition of electronic cigarette was only introduced in legea 15/2016, which also states explicitely that use of them is forbidden in public means of transportation, while omitting any reference to it in regard to other enclosed public spaces.

        I only realized it today after I read both laws so as to answer Romworld’s post.

        I’m assuming that people who sponsored this law are importers of electronic cigarettes, which is not out of line and definitely not the first time when legislators behave like that in Romania.

        Legea prevede ca tigarile electronice vor fi interzice doar in mijloacele de transport in comun si in locurile de joaca pentru copii. Chiar doamna deputat Aurelia Cristea a confirmat ca tigara electronica nu este interzisa in baruri, restaurante, cafenele etc.

        Potrivit art.I pct. 2. din Legea nr.15 /2016, fumatul nu include şi utilizarea tigaretelor electronice, acestea fiind “produse care pot fi folosite pentru consumul de vapori care contin nicotina prin intermediul unui mustiuc sau orice componenta a acestui produs, inclusiv un cartus, un rezervor si dispozitivul fara cartus sau rezervor”.


      2. Believe me, I have even seen a guy smoking an electric inside a flight and another one inside tram with whom I had a fight and still he continued to smoke.


      3. Banning smoking doesn’t necessarily mean that people give a damn about the ban… yesterday I rode home with a taxi driver that was smoking Kent. When I asked him if he isn’t afraid of being fined, he told me he doesn’t give a damn about the ban or the fine.


        You must learn to mind your own business while you’re in Romania. You’re not the Police, leave people alone to do whatever they want.


  8. I’m at El Bacha now. No smoking, presence is rather good. Nothing less than when smoking was allowed…

    Looks like the type of customers has changed now…


  9. I just got back into Bucharest after a weekend at my villa in Maramures and 9/10 guys smoke in the villages. You could still smoke in the village bar this weekend. . . Try telling a Romanian peasant he can’t smoke! You may get knifed.


  10. Bucharest annihilated the 220,000 strong stray dog population in 2013, then in the past year the city finally started stringing 10 euro 1 gbps internet cables underground and now they have banned smoking. . . What’s next, police enforcing parking and fining assholes for parking at angles and through cross walks?! Bucharest might just become lame if all this lawmaking keeps up. I moved to Bucharest precisely because it was not like Western Europe. May have to head up to Chisinau to keep things interesting. . . I do keep an apartment in central Chisinau.


  11. I am ok with this law (I am a smoker) but I still see people smoking in forbidden places.
    And I am angry with the administration of the business building I am working, they forbid to smoke even on the open balcony…

    Yes there is a big PRO. I have had an amazing evening in a restaurant in Old Town without smelling like a pack of cigarettes.

    So, as long as we respect the law and are not paranoid about it… it is good.


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