Smoking bans unpopular in Austria..

February 17, 2009 - Smoking bans have been distinctly unpopular and hard to enforce in a Austria where, according to the World Health Organization, no less than 47 percent of the population smokes, and each consumer burns through an average 2,073 cigarettes per year.

Local authorities are in charge of enforcing the ban in each of Austria's nine provinces but with some 2,000 bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants in Vienna alone -- many of them small -- checks are not always easy to carry out.

According to Walter Piller, chairman of the gastronomy (the science of good eating) branch of Vienna's chamber of commerce, 80 complaints have already been filed in Vienna but no fine has yet been given. These can go up to 10,000 euros (13,040 dollars) for owners who fail to respect the ban and 100 euros for customers.

Austria - January 1, 2009 - smoking ban large restaurants and bars..

Reference: Cigarettes still burning holes in Austrian ban, Agence France Presse (AFP, 2/13/2009.