For public health and environmental reasons, smoking is banned in many places in the world. For example, the European Union’s smoking prohibition ranges from banning possession and use to regulating advertisements. Even the entirety of Greece’s isolated Astypalea island has been smoke-free since 2019—the first in the world. Barcelona’s beaches, too, followed suit in 2021 prohibiting beach-goers from smoking to keep the space clean.
Strong EU legislation against tobacco certainly poses a dilemma for smokers who, like everybody else, want to visit, experience, or take photos of Europe. Visitors must respect the laws of the land but going cold turkey may lead to withdrawal symptoms that could ruin your travels. However, don’t give up on that trip just yet because here are five tips for the travelling smoker:
Familiarise yourself with smoking zones
Although there’s a slim chance you will be actually allowed to smoke in a public space in Europe, it’s important to do your research and familiarise yourself with smoking zones. Most can be found in airports. For instance, Italy’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport has designated smoking spaces in Terminals 1 and 3 and near the boarding gates. There are more airports that have smoking zones so make it a habit to research and ask before lighting up a cigarette.
Outside the airport, there’s also a bit of leeway for tobacco. Some hotels and restaurants in Barcelona allow you to smoke on their balconies. Just make sure to ask the staff because rules may vary depending on where you’re staying.
Opt for nicotine alternatives instead
A more discreet measure calls for smokeless nicotine alternatives. This is because it’s the smoke (and scent) from cigarettes—its environmental and health effects—that urged tobacco control in the first place. Get your nicotine fix from pouches instead which you can put in your mouth – best of all they are very discreet. With chewing tobacco banned in Europe, nicotine pouches are an ideal alternative as they don’t contain any banned substances. ZYN pouches are some of the most popular nicotine pouch options around. They are available in various flavors and strengths, meaning there is an option for every smoker. They’re also purified using high-tech distillation procedures, so you know they are premium quality.
Nicotine gum is an over-the-counter chewable oral alternative to cigarettes that is another option. A common brand is NicoDerm gum, which supplies you with nicotine minus the tobacco and comes in minty and fruity flavours. Like the aforementioned pouches, the NicoDerm gum has to be lodged in your cheek after chewing for a while—the nicotine enters the bloodstream this way, quickly relieving an urge to smoke.
Replace smoking with something else
You can be cautious when it comes to smoking on holiday… or you can take the trip as an opportunity to gradually kick the habit. Taking cues from Nicotine Anonymous’ 12-step approach, distract yourself from smoking urges by focusing on being mindful about your senses and de-stressing your body’s craving for nicotine. Writing down your thoughts and travel experiences in a journal is one way to be more mindful of your cigarette cessation and more present on your trip. And, since you can’t take quit-smoking products all the time, consider snacking on sugar-free sweets, dried fruits, and nuts to curb smoking cravings.
Be conscious of the odour
Smokers and non-smokers alike can pick up the smell of cigarettes pretty easily. Be courteous enough to minimise, if not completely remove, smoking odour that has the potential to bother other people, especially in smoking-free public places. Pack a multi-purpose odour eliminator that can be sprayed into the air as well as other surfaces.
Travelling can be tricky for smokers with smoking being banned all over Europe in most public places. There are several hacks and nicotine alternatives out there to manage your cigarette cravings, so don’t worry too much when booking that flight to the European city of your dreams.Follow @positive_mag on twitter for the last updates