Traveling around the world can be a meaningful and exciting endeavor. However, for smokers, there are many limitations and local policies to consider. Some countries listed by the World Economic Forum have stricter smoking and anti-tobacco regulations. Ireland, which started the global trend in 2004, was the first country to ban indoor workplace smoking. Since then, countries like Portugal, Canada, Australia, France, Mexico, and the United Kingdom have joined in with their policies to promote a “smoke-free” generation in the future.
This shift towards anti-smoking regulations is an environmental and public health initiative to reduce and eliminate smoking rates, making these countries safer, greener, and healthier in the long run. For example, Portugal is considered one of the safest countries in the world. Aside from its policies on outdoor smoking, Portugal is also widely regarded for its low crime rates and well-functioning healthcare system.
Still, this doesn’t mean smokers should compromise their travel plans. There are ways to still enjoy traveling — even in smoke-free countries. Below, we’ll be sharing some tips to adjust your travel plans to anti-smoking policies:
Pack Smokeless Alternatives
As mentioned above, anti-smoking regulations are implemented for environmental and health reasons. Aside from the toxic smoke contributing to air pollution, cigarettes are also some of the most littered items in the world. This is why many smokers resort to bringing smokeless nicotine alternatives.
Nicotine pouches, which can be used discreetly and are smoke- and tobacco-free, have risen in popularity recently. They come in many flavors, from manufacturers such as ZYN and Lucy. For example, ZYN wintergreen pouches provide a satisfying nicotine experience with a wintery mint flavor that blends sweet with menthol. These can be bought in packs of five up to 50 cans if you’ll be traveling for a long time. Other smokeless nicotine alternatives, like nicotine gum, are also as effective for keeping withdrawal symptoms and cravings at bay. Lucy Berry citrus nicotine gum, for example, is one of many oral nicotine products compliant with smoke-fee regulations. Like popular nicotine pouches, it’s also a flavorful alternative to more traditional smoking cessation products.
Prioritize Healthy Snacks
Aside from smokeless alternatives, you can also keep tobacco withdrawal symptoms at bay by packing healthy snacks. A Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that smokers tend to have more unhealthy snacking habits and that abstinence from tobacco use can also lead to higher caloric intake.
Snacking on healthy foods can also help keep your mouth and hands distracted, which is a common problem among smokers who may not be used to, well, not smoking. Drinking milk, for example, is recommended over having coffee, especially if you normally pair your morning cigarettes with a cup of joe. Likewise, it’s best to substitute food and drinks you typically associate with your tobacco consumption with healthier ones. Instead of alcohol, consider fruit juices or shakes for hydration and to help your body heal from the harms of tobacco. You should also avoid spicy or sugary foods, as these have been found to contribute to cigarette cravings.
Research Smoke-free Policies
Finally, you should also take the time to research local smoke-free policies properly. While the mutual goal is to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and combat litter, many countries and governments implement these differently.
For example, countries like Greece, Ireland, and the Netherlands have considerably “strong” restrictions. In contrast, others like Poland and Slovakia have relatively limited protections, which locals or tourists often ignore. When in doubt, it’s best to inquire about your accommodations or with your tour guide. Do keep in mind that smoke-free policies may also impact your ability to buy smokeless alternatives, so it’s best to come prepared and fully stocked.