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Is smoking banned on trains?

A recent trip to Italy reminded this never smoker that there are some places where people still smoke where we in the US have banned. No wars here, just want the lay of the land...

1) is smoking allowed on inter city trains, specifically France nice to Paris tgv.
2) If so, how do I find in advance which cars a no fumar?

I was reviewing some train layouts on seat61 and some had cars marked fumar and non fumar, but others did not have this marking. Headed to France in spring!

Posted by
22504 posts

I've spent 24 months bouncing around Europe since 2015, traveling solely by train and bus. I've seen a total of one person smoking on a train or bus. I think it happened in Bulgaria in 2015. I didn't hit every country in Europe on those trips, but I got to 19 of them. I'm pretty sure smoking is forbidden on trains throughout Europe, and it seems we're past the point of people flouting the rules. I'll be curious to see what the more knowledgeable train folks have to say about the "fumar" markings you've seen online. Maybe the photos were really old?

Edited to add: I should note that I've had olfactory evidence of people smoking inside hotels on occasion, which I think is a violation of the law/regulations. I remember encountering it in Italy in 2015 and in Spain in 2016; I'm not sure it has happened since then. In both cases it seemed to be employees who were smoking.

There definitely is considerable variation in the incidence of smoking from country to country. You'll see a lot of people smoking in France (including retail employees standing in or just outside doorways); I observed far fewer in Norway, Sweden and Finland. This is something I tend to notice, because exposure to smoke in a closed-in area will give me a headache in as little as 5 or 10 minutes. I'm happy to report that it's not a problem I worry about these days except when considering whether to eat outdoors (often the designated smoking area) or indoors.

Posted by
6647 posts

There is no smoking on any public transport in France, including trains, buses, boats. Also no smoking in train or bus stations either. As far as I know trains no longer have smoking vs non-smoking cars in France.

Posted by
27 posts

It is possible that the seat maps that showed fumar vs no fumar were from an old source. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by
1165 posts

We have just traveled by train from Copenhagen to London. Everywhere on this route smoking is prohibited on the trains - and I saw (or smelled) nobody smoking. Smoking is also prohibited on the station platforms (except for dedicated areas) and everywhere people were smoking all over the platform, so we had to move around to avoid the smoke. Only exception was the Eurostar area in Bruxelles Midi; Perhaps because we were not let onto the platform until it as time to board the train - much like in airports.

Posted by
8980 posts

Yes, very old, about thirty years out of date. In France it's fumeur.

Posted by
12220 posts

I have not seen a train that allowed smoking in years. Anywhere in Europe.

And definitely not in France.

Posted by
5137 posts

I’m also sensitive to smoke, unfortunately, so I’m very aware when I’m around it. There were several people during lots of train travel this summer in Italy who were smoking on the platform, but no one was smoking on the trains.

The last time I was in France was 2019, and I took the TGV to/from Nice-to-Paris you’re mentioning. No one was smoking on those trains.

Posted by
27 posts

OK thanks. I think we have established that I was looking at some very old seating charts, and that now no fumar has been the rule for a long time.
Thanks again...

Posted by
6378 posts

Side story/. Riding the bus in Ireland on a city to city rural bus line. The older gentleman in front of me had his racing form and was happily reading it and taking occasional drinks from his flask. No harm to me. Then he took out a cigarette and lit right up. I told him he needed to put it out and he extinguished it right away. I don’t think it had occurred to him that his smoke could bother others or he had enough from the flask that he didn’t care……..

Posted by
1407 posts

Another side story:

We took a train from Warsaw to Krakow in 2004, and ended up seated in a compartment with four people facing four people. As soon as the train started to move, the other six promptly lit up cigarettes and smoked one after another, non-stop, for the whole journey. I thought I was going to choke to death. I went out to the corridor to try to stand by a window, but of course there were dozens of people smoking at the windows.

Posted by
508 posts

And another side story:

We flew from Australia to London in the late 1980s on a plane that had a smoking section. It was just separated by a curtain from the rest of the plane. By the end of the 27 hour flight we reeked of smoke and couldn't get it out of our clothes for the rest of our trip.

Posted by
1559 posts

You brought back memories of me flying on an airplane as a child. The smoking was in the front and non-was in the back. Unfortunately by the time the 3 hour flight landed the smoke would be everywhere as there was no barrier. The smell was awful and there always was a bit of a haze throughout the plane.

I remember thinking Flight Attendants were glamorous until I realized they had to inhale that smoke 8 -10 hrs a day. So glad that smoking has been banned. Even my uncle who used to smoke says it's a great thing that everything is non-smoking at least here in America.

Posted by
81 posts

My friend and I took the train in France in 2001 and ended up in the smoking car on accident and didn't realize it until people started lighting up around us! We quickly switched cars!