Every time I fly to Germany to visit my family I immediately know I have arrived in Europe by the way the airport smells after smoke. Though smoker zones are the only areas where one can smoke in most airports, these zones are not separated by any barriers, thus leaking the smoke to the rest of the airport.


In Spain, one in three adults smoke, in Germany about 38% of men and 27% of women smoke, French smokers make up about 36% of the population.


Germany had recently been reprimanded by Markos Kyprianou the EU commissioner for health since it was taking a longer time to adjust its laws to the antismoking laws of the EU.  Germany was supposed to introduce laws prohibit advertising for tobacco products in April, but has not done so yet.


About three months ago Spain had introduced anti-smoking laws regulating smoking in public spaces.  While most smokers adhere to the rules in offices, hospitals, theatres and museums, but will then smoke outside or in the restrooms.  .In other public spaces such as airports and subway stations many are still smoking.  Clubs and bars are still full of smoke and even when someone lights up a cigar in a non smoking area in a restaurant, the waiter usually looks the other way.


When I finally fly back to New York, I enjoy the smoke-free airport, bars and restaurants so much more than before I left.