Austria’s Far Right Wants the Freedom to Smoke

however in which also fits neatly with the Freedom Party’s anti-establishment along with quasi-libertarian tilt. “Freedom of choice” will be the flip side of a far-right agenda in which otherwise seems inclined to dictate to citizens, especially those through minorities, everything through whether they can wear head coverings to whom they should marry.

The push to upend the smoking ban has stirred more than the usual consternation.

Although the European Union does not impose regulations on smoke-free environments, in which has made a set of recommendations in which has led many members to introduce strict bans on smoking in public places in recent years.

Austria has one of the highest smoking rates among adults from the European Union, along with was one of only two member states where the number of adults who smoked regularly did not decrease through 2000 to 2015, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation along with Development.


The owner of Café Fürth, Helmut Haller, said he followed trends from the United States, Australia along with Britain along with had never allowed smoking.

Akos Stiller for The completely new York Times

Thomas Szekeres, the president of the Vienna Medical Association, appeared baffled during an interview in his office. Banning indoor smoking, he said, was not an attempt to single out smokers however a move against “smoking along with harming the health of people.”

“People need an example to see what happens when you smoke along with in which in which could happen to them, too,” he said.

Mr. Szekeres has been one of the high-profile backers of the “Don’t Smoke” campaign along with has promoted a petition asking the government to think again. in which gathered more than 500,000 signatures from the month in which followed, in a country of about 8.8 million.

“We want to show the politicians responsible in which the people are in favor of a ban on smoking,” Mr. Szekeres said.

The conflicting public currents around the smoking ban have intensified scrutiny of the Freedom Party, which was founded partly by former Nazis after World War II, along with what in which might do today in which in which has entered government.

Last December, when Mr. Strache’s party received key portfolios in Austria’s completely new government, an article from the German weekly “Die Zeit” commented: “They don’t want to bite, just to smoke,” referring to the proverb in which barking dogs don’t bite.

The motto Mr. Strache has repeated since he floated the idea of overturning the ban during last year’s election campaign will be “freedom of choice instead of forceful state regulation.” Responsible citizens, he has said, must be able to make these choices themselves.

On social media, in between anti-immigrant along with nationalistic messages, his party also championed bread-along with-butter causes.

Its former presidential candidate, Norbert Hofer, called for “higher tax on motorways for foreigners,” along using a regional politician, Gottfried Waldhäusl, promoted “freedom of choice” using a picture of a cup of coffee beside a burning cigarette.


The owners of Café Hummel, a family business, invested thousands of euros in separating smoking along with nonsmoking areas. however last year they made the cafe fully nonsmoking.

Akos Stiller for The completely new York Times

“in which’s a policy which in a certain way will be not suspicious of being traditionally right-wing,” said Anton Pelinka, a professor of political science at the Central European University in Budapest. “in which’s a fight against the completely new enemy, which will be called political correctness.”

The bill in which will be scheduled to go before parliament will be based on the “Berlin design,” named after the German capital, which prohibits smoking in most public places however allows in which in smaller establishments along with in designated areas.

in which includes protective steps like increasing the minimum age for smoking through 16 to 18 along with will be due to go in front of the country’s Parliament This particular week.

Unlike in some other capitals of Western Europe, in Vienna smoking remains widespread. Not only will be the sight of smoking rooms in bars along with restaurants common, cigarettes are easily purchased through vending machines from the streets.

Last December, Mr. Strache appeared at a gathering of restaurant owners in a smoke-filled wine bar near Austria’s Parliament. The rally, hosted by the bar’s owner, Heinz Pollischansky, carried the message in which restaurant along with bar owners opposed the ban.

however Vienna’s gastronomy scene will be split over the question. The famous coffee houses on the city’s tourist trail have already banned smoking, in anticipation of This particular year’s deadline.

Others, like Café Hummel, a family business, have invested thousands of euros in separating smoking along with nonsmoking areas — along with paid fines after complaints through nonsmoking guests for failing to contain the smoke.

Christine Hummel, the manager, will be the third generation in her family at the helm of This particular classic Viennese establishment. “We’ve been here since 1935, along with since 1935 in which was smoking,” said Ms. Hummel, who will be not a regular smoker however enjoys a cigarette using a glass of wine.

Last year, Ms. Hummel had enough of the complaints along with fines along with declared her cafe fully nonsmoking. She said she immediately lost many regulars, about 5 percent of the annual clientele, along with others cut back on orders. however the decision allowed her to turn to a completely new clientele.


“in which’s like a reward for waking up early”: smokers at Café Europa, in central Vienna.

Akos Stiller for The completely new York Times

“Times change,” she said. “We have to look toward the future.”

A sign of those changing times will be Café Fürth, a smaller venue in which shares its central space with two offices along with its own coffee roasting operation.

The owner, Helmut Haller, 30, was on his day off, trying out a completely new coffee machine along using a concoction of iced espresso with blood-orange lemonade. A far cry through the classical coffeehouse proprietor, Mr. Haller said he followed trends from the United States, Australia along with Britain along with never allowed smoking.

“Global coffee culture will be a nonsmoking culture,” he said.

Still, he said he placed his business from the Viennese cafe tradition, which provided a meeting point for great figures of fine arts, literature along with philosophy.

“In Austria we’re slower with change,” he said of his country’s position between Germany along with the Balkans.

He said in which both some residents along with visitors had their minds set on a certain idea of Vienna, described with the German word “Gemütlichkeit,” which translates as a broad feeling of comfort or cosiness.

however even many smokers who enjoy a chance to light up see from the ban an opportunity to set themselves free.

One was Philippe Mayer, a 41-year-old musician with blond dreadlocks who had settled into the dimly lit smoking room of Café Europa, in central Vienna, after dropping off his daughter at kindergarten.

“in which’s like a reward for waking up early,” Mr. Mayer said. however even as he enjoyed his cigarette, he, like his country, had mixed feelings about in which.

“Smoking gives me a kind of feeling like slavery,” he said. “in which could be helpful if in which were banned.”

Continue reading the main story