For members


What you need to know about Sweden’s new smoking ban

From July 1st it is no longer be legal in Sweden to smoke in outdoor public places including bus and train station platforms and outdoor areas of bars and restaurants, meaning there is now almost no public place left where smokers can indulge their habit.

What you need to know about Sweden's new smoking ban
Indra Bowen smoking one of the last legal pavement cigarettes. Photo: Stina Gullander/TT
This article is available to Members of The Local. Read more about Membership here.

The new stricter smoking ban, which came into force on Monday morning, extends even to e-cigarettes. 

But Stockholm City said it was planning to defy the ban, allowing three well-known outdoor bars to continue offering an outdoor 'smoking room'. 
“From a political point of view with have asked our officials to take a pragmatic view over outdoor 'smoking rooms' for smokers, and we are ready stand firm on that decision if it gets tested in court,” Jan Jönsson, a Liberal councillor on Stockholm City council, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. 
At least three restaurants, Trädgården at Skanstull, Slakthuset, and the Mosebacke terrace at Södra Teater in Södermalm plan to offer an outdoor 'smoking room', with the city government's support. 
The law allows restaurants to have sealed-off smoking sections, but customers are not allowed to bring their drinks there or consume food, and as the areas are supposed to be sealed off, it remains to be seen if Sweden's national authorities accept these restaurants' plans. 
Other cities are already taking action, with Malmö setting up strategic “Fimpzoner” or “Stub Out Zones” in three places, including the cobbled Lilla Torget square, which is known for its outdoor restaurants.  
“As far as I know Malmö is the first in Sweden to have this sort of solution with Stub Out Zones in public places,” Sverker Haraldsson, project leader in the city's housing and traffic department, said in a statement
One of the new 'Stub Out Zones' in Malmö's Lilla Torg square. Photo: Malmö Stad
As well as pavement cafés, the new law also extends the ban on smoking in public places to places used for sports, such as football pitches.
It also bans smoking at bus stops and playgrounds. 

Member comments

  1. Hello all. I am living in the uk now but am planning to move back home with my english family. Our boys are 16 and 11. My worry is about their schooling. They dnt speak swedish so i am worried about the 16 year old more. Is it too late or will it be ok?
    Any suggestions or ideas for a smoothish ride would be greatly appreciated.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).