As of January 2023, smoking indoors will only be allowed in public places that are at least 100 m2 and have a minimum ceiling height of three meters, according to the new rules published on Thursday. While other European Union countries have banned smoking indoors, Portugal will not do so.
The new smoking rules mean that according to Publico, it will be virtually impossible to smoke indoors in designated areas in restaurants and bars in Portugal. However, it is still likely that people will still be able to smoke in many clubs indoors.
The rules for January 2023 also include new measures regarding the separation of smoking rooms, the maximum amount of people allowed, and the requirements for ventilation systems. Designated areas for smoking must not occupy more than 20% of the area intended for customers. All of these criteria must be validated by specialized technicians.
The Ministry of Health believes the new rules will help reduce tobacco usage “by restricting the number of places where it will be possible to create new spaces to smoke, as well as by imposing more rigorous measures, such as regarding the installation and technical requirements regarding ventilation systems”.
Portugal Smoking Rate: Percentage of Smokers in Portugal
According to the DN, in 2020, 15.6% of those living in mainland Portugal over the age of 15 years old are smokers, a 4.3% decrease in six years. There are an estimated 1.5 million smokers in Portugal, of which around 1.2 million are daily smokers.
The region of the Azores (23.4%) has the most smokers, followed by the Alentejo (19.1%), and the Algarve (18.6%).
In terms of age, most smokers are between 25 and 34 years old (27.6%), followed by those 35 to 44 (24.9%) and 45 to 54 (22.6%).
The government’s objective for 2022 is to reduce the smoking rate to less than 15%.