Austria’s Achilles Heel

From a public health perspective, Vienna has a lot going for it—Alpine tap water, child benefits for moms, and some of the world’s lowest maternal death rates.

There is one glaring exception: Vienna is also known as the “ashtray of Europe”—a quarter of Austrians light up daily.

Austria was slow on anti-smoking legislation largely because the government once held a tobacco monopoly. But on November 1, that changed with the debut of a long-debated ban on smoking in public places.  

Pro-smoking activists say the Austrian government is overreaching again—others see long-overdue progress.


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