The Smoker’s Guide to Traveling In Europe

Europe is a popular travel destination among many Americans. Data from Allianz Partners’ 2023 European Holiday Destination Index revealed that the number of American travelers to Europe rose 21% over 2022, while trips to Europe increased by 55% in the summer of 2023. This comes as no surprise, especially after social media and “revenge travel” have positioned Europe as an ideal travel destination. 

Our previous article on packing for Europe highlights some of the items that you need to pack if you’re planning to go on a trip around the continent. These include essentials such as backpacks, pieces of clothing, and hygiene products. 

But if you’re a smoker, you might need to take extra precautions for your European trip, especially as many countries in the region are cracking down on tobacco and smoking. 

Before you set out on your travels, here’s what you need to know about smoking regulations in some popular European destinations and what alternatives are available:

Public smoking laws

Several European countries have imposed smoking regulations, such as in the case of France banning smoking on beaches, in forests, and near schools. The price of a pack of cigarettes is also set to increase to €13 ($1.35) in 2026 from its current €11 ($1.14) market price. 

Meanwhile, in Spain, tobacco use is banned in all indoor public spaces, with policymakers looking to extend smoke-free zones to outdoor spaces like beaches. Similarly, Italy has banned smoking in indoor public spaces, including half of the area of catering establishments such as nightclubs and restaurants. 

While these countries allow outside travelers to bring in cigarettes, it’s best to avoid smoking in areas designated as smoke-free. That way, you won’t get into trouble with authorities, which could ruin a fun trip.

Opt for alternatives 

If you want to travel freely throughout Europe without any headaches, it might be time to look at some alternatives. Smokeless options are generally more acceptable, and you won’t have to worry about looking for an appropriate smoking area. 

Many of these options are also easy to pack and transport, which is helpful if you’ll be traveling between countries often.

Nicotine pouches 

Nicotine pouches are small pouches that you can place under your lip for easy use. They come in a variety of flavors and strengths, making them adaptable to different smokers’ needs. 

You can opt for Juice Head pouches that come in various flavors, such as Strawberry Mint and Blueberry Lemon Mint, with 6mg or 12mg nicotine strength. These pouches are easy to pack and travel with because they are small and discreet, and they use synthetic nicotine, which makes them completely tobacco-free. 

These pouches can, therefore, be a viable alternative in European destinations that completely ban tobacco. 

Nicotine patches 

You can also use transdermal nicotine patches that you can put on your skin. If you’re looking for another alternative to cigarettes or pouches, you can try Nicoderm C-Q patches, which come in seven to 20 pieces per pack — perfect for more than a week of travel — with nicotine strengths ranging from 7mg, 14mg, to 21mg. 

These patches are clear, making them discreet to use. Since they are authorized products, there are no laws regulating the use of nicotine patches in Europe, so these are a fairly safe option for travel. If you run out of patches while traveling, you can get them for as low as £9 ($11.36) when you’re in the United Kingdom. 

Nicotine gum 

If you’re a smoker who loves to chew, then you can also take some nicotine gum to Europe. Use it by chewing the gum a few times before letting it rest between your cheek and the space below your teeth. In the absence of cigarettes, brands like Nicorette can relieve your nicotine cravings with 2mg or 4mg in strength. 

These products are also authorized for use in Europe, so feel free to add them to your list of alternatives to smoking when traveling abroad.

Going on a trip includes complying with local laws and regulations. If you’re a smoker who plans to travel to Europe, try some of these alternatives, and be sure to research smoking ordinances in the cities you’ll be visiting to avoid trouble. 

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