The Austrian Parliament has imposed a complete smoking ban in all Austrian restaurants and other food providers and will be enforced beginning on 1 May 2018. Besides that, incentives of a fiscal premium of 30 percent for effected conversion investments are provided if companies switch prior to 1 July 2016. As of May 2016, the smoking ban also includes water pipes, e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products.
With the beginning of May 2018, there is an exception for hotels to provide strictly separated smoking rooms for guests, given the generally long duration of hotel stays, but however, bringing, serving and/or consuming food and/or beverages is prohibited at all.
Prior to this ban, a partial ban on tobacco smoking was in place in Austria since 2009.
If the law is violated, for smokers fines of up to 100 Euros (and of up to EUR 1.000 in the event of recurrence) will be applied, whereas for owners the fine can be up to 2.000 Euros or up to 10.000 Euros in the event of recurrence.
More information is available from: Dr Franz Pietsch, Federal Ministry of Health, Austria (Franz.Pietsch@bmg.gv.at).