Legislation came into force on January 1, 2004, under the Tobacco Law regulating smoking in the workplace and on public transport. The Tobacco Law stipulates that employers take measures so that employees are not exposed to environmental tobacco smoke and so that travellers can travel from one destination to another without being exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.
Exemptions from this legislation include:
- areas designated for the public in hotels, bars and restaurants
- hospitality areas designated for the public in certain non-public theaters and entertainment facilities (as defined by law)
- areas designated for the public in slot machine halls
- areas designated for the public in tobacco specialty stores (as defined by law)
- international public transportation fulfilling certain conditions
- areas in which the employer has no say
- areas considered to be private
- separated and designated smoking facilities
- means of public transportation exploited by international consortia or a foreign company as long as these means of transportation are only used for cross border transportation
- the outdoors or open means of transportation
In February 2007 it was reported that the coalition government wants to end smoking in restaurants, cafes, hotels, fast-food outlets and discos by 2011 at the latest. The previous government had a covenant with the catering industry to reduce secondhand smoke exposure but effects have been limited.