After holding out to be one of the few remaining EU countries with no prohibitions on smoking, a law put into effect on November 15th, 2010 finally limited smoking in public places. Smoking is now completely banned in Poland on public transport, transport stops and stations, schools and universities, workplaces, sports arenas and other places where the public gather. Owners are obliged to place a clear and visible ‘No Smoking’ sign and anyone caught smoking by either the police or local city guards (Straż Miejska) is supposedly subject to a 500zł fine.
However, in the case of bars, clubs, restaurants and other public places, the law states that there can be a separate room for smokers as long as it is properly ventilated and closed off from the other public areas. In response to the controversial legislation, many owners have exercised their right to create a small smoking room, however others have made the majority of their establishment smoker-friendly with only a small area set aside for non-smokers. Due to a lack of enforcement, some establishments openly flout the law by allowing smoking wherever they want. As such, while smoking in public places in Poland has been greatly reduced, it still continues in many places. To help you find or avoid places which continue to allow smoking on the premises we have used the following symbols throughout our Poland In Your Pocket guides:
This place has a complete smoking ban on the premises
This place has a smoking section on the premises