After a mass slowdown, travel is once again booming worldwide. A report by the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shares that international tourist arrivals across the globe nearly tripled between January to July 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, accounting for almost 474 million tourists. The number of travellers is still less than in 2019, but significant changes in travel regulations continue to encourage people of all backgrounds to travel, including smokers.
Smoking was once a much more common habit but has since fallen out of favour after many health and safety problems. Many travel modes of transport, like aeroplanes and public transport, have long since banned smoking. But some countries continue to implement stricter rules around smoking, meaning greater challenges for those who smoke cigarettes. If you’re a smoker, it’s essential to prepare yourself for these regulations so you can still enjoy travelling without depriving yourself of any kicks. To help you out, listed below are four tips for travelling smokers.
Research local smoking laws
For every new country you visit, it's important to research local smoking laws. There may be specific prohibitions on smoking that may limit your options, and if you break the law, you may be subject to hefty fines or even imprisoned. Our previous post on the "Best Locations for Digital Nomads to Live and Work" highlights countries like Thailand and Cambodia as great destinations where digital nomads can enjoy a work-life balance. While these countries offer low living costs, you can be fined as high as 30,000 Baht (SGD 1171.06 /AUD 1270.94) or receive a jail sentence of up to 10 years if you break the smoking laws.
On the other hand, vapes and e-cigarettes are allowed in most countries – with a notable exception of Singapore. However, you must also consider whether they are subject to the same restrictions as cigarettes. In the US, states like New York ban the use of tobacco products and vapour products in all indoor and certain outdoor public areas and workplaces. Considering these differing restrictions, it may be safer to bring smokeless nicotine products or buy nicotine products within the place you're travelling.
Use smokeless, nicotine alternatives
Almost all countries still allow smoking to an extent, but certain places may have stricter regulations preventing you from getting your fix. This can be especially problematic when facing withdrawal, as symptoms like cravings, headaches, and irritability will quickly dampen your trip. To help you manage these problems, pack in nicotine alternatives like nicotine pouches or nicotine gum. The ZYN nicotine pouches available online at Prilla are tobacco and vapour free and come in a whole range of different flavours, from various mints to cinnamon and citrus. The pouches are tucked between the lip and gum to release the nicotine, and because they produce no vapour they can be used in locations where smoking is forbidden. For an option that mimics the feel of chewing cigarettes, Habitrol nicotine gum can be used once each hour to stave off cravings. These products can temporarily relieve withdrawal symptoms, allowing you to enjoy your trip even if designated smoking areas are far off.
Remain courteous to non-smokers and the environment
When travelling, you may opt to take public transportation to save money. But as a smoker, the smell of smoke on your clothes can be off-putting for non-smokers. Aside from using nicotine alternatives, it's best to prepare an odour-eliminating spray to remain courteous to non-smokers.
In addition to respecting people, you must be mindful of your smoking waste for the betterment of the environment. A Science of The Total Environment article on cigarette butts noted these filters amount to as much as 845,000 tons of litter per year worldwide, ending up in storm drains, rivers, and the ocean. Its toxic chemicals can negatively impact the environment, with many animals often mistaking cigarette butts for food and ending up poisoning themselves. If you're in a remote area without rubbish bins, keep your ash and used butts in a portable ashtray until you can dispose of them properly.
Be prepared to compromise
Depending on the country you plan to visit, it's essential to manage your expectations and be prepared to compromise for a few days. If you have a preferred cigarette brand or type, you may struggle to find them in other countries with limited selections. This is especially true in countries like New Zealand. The country is working to phase out smoking by making the purchase of cigarettes much harder in order to achieve a national goal of reducing their national smoking rate to 5% by 2025. The country has already removed cigarette sales from supermarkets and corner stores, limiting cigarette availability. This means that you must be prepared to spend extra time looking for licensed tobacco retailers.
When visiting a country with strict tobacco laws, be ready to cut your cigarette intake, or prepare yourself to pay significant fees for duty and tax.
Smoking is a tricky habit to manage when travelling. But by researching and following local laws, bringing nicotine alternatives, and adjusting your smoking intake, you can better prepare for your travels without any bumps in the road.