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Smoking in Krakow

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Krakow insights

Krakow’s Exposure to Cigarettes and Tobacco

Cigarette smoking seems pretty common among the residents of Krakow. At the same time restrictions on smoking in the city’s public areas, sometimes also in the open air, are prevalent. Also, people may occasionally fume over smoking in their presence, notably indoors.


Smoking or no smoking.

As it's in vogue throughout the European Union, Poland has also introduced a blanket ban on smoking in public places, in force since November 15, 2010. So, smokers are forbidden to indulge in their habit in many surroundings under law. 

For instance, smoking at bus and tram stops in Krakow carries the penalty of fine up to 500 zlotys, offenders being hunted down by the municipal police. Obviously, the same applies to buses and trams

Short guide to smoking in public in Poland.

One cannot light a cigarette in shops, museums, theaters, venues for cultural and sporting events, post offices, etc.

Practically all hotels in Krakow have non-smoking rooms as well as smoking ones.

Smoking in shopping malls, office buildings, and the like is either prohibited altogether or restricted to designated areas. It the latter case usually it’s a dark corner in the lobby, few establishments boast the comfort of a smoking room called ‘palarnia’ in Polish.

Travelling smokers should remember that smoking is banned at train stations in Poland and anywhere aboard trains except smoking cars called ‘wagon dla palacych’. It’s advisable to book a seat in such a car when one buys a ticket for a long-distance train. On the other hand non-smokers should take care to get a seat in a no-smoking car, i.e. ‘wagon dla niepalacych’.

Tip: Don’t light a cigarette while paying a visit unless there is an ashtray on the table before you.

Smoking restrictions in Krakow.

The local law, enacted by the city council, also prohibits outdoors smoking - as well as tobacco chewing - at bus and tram stops, children playgrounds, and the big municipal parks. The same ban applies to e-cigarettes and suchlike.

Dining out smoke-free

Restaurants in Krakow don't allow smoking on the premises unless they contain a separate smoking room. And when there is such an isolated chamber, which isn't common, neither food nor drinks can be served there.  

Under the circumstances, most eateries in Krakow ban smoking altogether. As few places clearly advertise their policies on tobacco smoke it seems prudent to inquire in advance when booking a table. Yet, as a rule of thumb, diners shouldn't anticipate a puff at a cigarette or a pipe during their meal in Krakow.  

Going out with a cigarette

Until recently non-smokers hardly ever were able to avoid heavy passive smoking when enjoying the energetic nightlife in Krakow. Now the city's nightspots, from clubs to bars to coffee houses, once notorious for dense veils of cigarette smoke filling their interiors, have been declared smoke-free zones. Under law, in any such establishment smoking is legal solely in a secluded and well ventilated 'palarnia' room. 

Note: Smoking in a nightclub, a pub, etc. is subject to a fine of 500 zlotys (PLN).   

Purchasing cigarettes and other tobacco products in Krakow

You can buy tobacco products, cigarettes in the first place, practically everywhere in Krakow. They are available at ubiquitous kiosks, liquor stores, supermarkets, and grocer's shops. On average a twenty-cigarette pack costs an equivalent of about 2.8 euro. 

International brands of cigarettes popular in Poland are Marlboro, L&M, Golden American, Slims, Vogue, West, Pall Mall, and Rothmans. Most popular Polish brands of cigarettes are Caro, Fajrant, Jan III Sobieski, Iris, Mocne, Fox, Viva, Mars, Carmen. Also available in Krakow are such cigarette brands as ALBATROS, ARES, BOND STREET, BRILLIANT, CAMEL, CHESTERFIELD, CRISTAL, DARK, DAVIDOFF, DOWNTOWN, DUNHILL, EXTRA MOCNE, GAULOISES BLONDES, GROM, GROT, KLUBOWE, KRESOWE, LD, LEVEL, LIVA, LUCKY STRIKE, MESKIE, MAIN, MEWA, MOCNE, NEVADA, NEXT, PARAMOUNT, PARLIAMENT, POPULARNE, POZNANSKIE, PRINCE, R 1, RED&WHITE, RAVEN, ROCKETS, RONSON, ROUTE 66, ROYAL SAIL, SALEM, SHE, SPIKE, TIGER, VICEROY, VIRGINIA, WALET, ZAWISZA, and ZUBR.

Poland’s sales amount to nearly seventy billion cigarettes. Altria Group Inc. (formerly Philip Morris) has about 40 percent market share, followed by Imperial Tobacco with 17 percent or so, British American Tobacco and Scandinavian Tobacco with some 15 percent each, and Altadis with nearly 8 percent. Most cigarettes sold in Poland, including international brands, are produced in five Polish plants owned by the multinationals mentioned above.

Legal smoking age is 18 in Poland. Selling cigarettes to underage youths is a criminal offence.

Duty-free tobacco products.

You may bring your own supply of smoking stuff to Krakow free of duty as long as you keep it to legal limits. Allowances of tobacco from the UE are fairly generous and they cover 800 cigarettes, 200 cigars, and one kilogram of pipe tobacco. Yet from outside the EU one may legally bring free of duty either 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 0.25 kg of pipe tobacco.


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Eating the Krakow Way
It is hearty indeed.

Drinking in Krakow

Shopping in Krakow

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