REUTERS: Austria to Scrap Smoking ban, Bucking Western Trend

Smoking
TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images

VIENNA (Reuters) – While much of the West has barred smoking in restaurants and bars, Austria’s impending ban is set to be stubbed out.

The small, affluent country is famed for its Alpine scenery and its capital, Vienna, is regularly rated as the world’s best city to live in. But many visitors are surprised to find that nights out often feature the acrid smell of decades past.

Austria passed a law banning smoking in bars and restaurants as of May 2018. But that will now be overturned under a deal between the conservative People’s Party (OVP) led by Sebastian Kurz and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) reached during their ongoing negotiations on a governing coalition, according to a person familiar with their discussions.

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