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Smokeless Zones: best holiday countries for non-smokers

Skyscanner takes a look at the best countries for non-smokers’ holidays

In recognition of World No Tobacco Day (31st May 2009), Skyscanner takes a look at the best countries for non-smokers’ holidays and also those countries where smokers can still find a safe haven.


The public smoking bans which have now been adopted by many countries in Europe, have almost certainly reduced levels of smoking, but not all countries have adopted the new regulations.

In Switzerland for example, a country generally considered to be health conscious, it’s still possible to smoke in bars and restaurants. Likewise Austria has not fully implemented the ban, meaning you can still light up in many bars there. Many countries in Eastern Europe, such as Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Bosnia are also still safe havens for smokers.

The small island nation of Malta currently has the lowest rate of smokers according to the WHO, with just 9% of the population lighting up on a regular basis. At the other end of the scale, almost half (48%) of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina are smokers.

Globally, the lowest rates of smoking are typically found in the least developed countries and the highest are found in the former Soviet Republics, followed by Central and Northern Europe.

Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and director commented:

“Now that we’ve got used to the public smoking ban here in the UK, most holidaying non-smokers won’t want to go to restaurants and bars where smoking is still permitted. This is likely to have some influence on the selection of travel destinations, especially for families. On the flip side, smokers may well favour countries that still permit smoking in public places, although these are becoming fewer and fewer in Europe.”

Smokeless Zones: best countries for non-smokers

1. Malta (9%)
2. Moldova (17%)
3. Sweden (18%)
4. Portugal (21%)
5. Romania (21%)
6. Iceland (22%)
7. Finland (23%)
8. Czech Republic (24%)
9. Italy (24%)
10. Slovenia (24%)

Smokey Zones: best countries for smokers

1. Bosnia and Herzegovina (48%)
2. Serbia (47%)
3. Albania (39%)
4. Greece (38%)
5. Germany (37%)
6. Russia (36%)
7. Macedonia (36%)
8. Bulgaria (36%)
9. Andorra (36%)
10. Turkey (35%)

Prevalence of smoking adults aged 15 and over. Statistics from British Heart Foundation.