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Smoking in Bhutan

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Smoking in Bhutan

I'm a smoker and understand that while smoking is not entirely banned yet in Bhutan, it is not encouraged. Well, I could live with that restriction since I really would like to go Bhutan later this year. BUT, could someone tell me exactly where I could smoke? Are the designated smoking areas clearly defined? And, can I smoke in my hotel rooms? Various tour agents told me different things and I'm getting highly confused! Some kind souls please shred some light.


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Gems Bhutan Travels
Hiking & Camping Tours, Multi-day Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Access Bhutan
Cultural Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Multi-day Tours, Sightseeing Tours, City Tours
AB Travel
Hiking & Camping Tours, Cultural Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Multi-day Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours
Amedewa Tours and Trek
Cultural Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Multi-day Tours
Manama, Bahrain
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436 posts
56 reviews
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1. Re: Smoking in Bhutan

Whilst the sale of cigarettes is banned it is not illegal to smoke, though you will need to be discreet when smoking & not make a public spectacle of it ! There are no "smoking areas" as such in any public area that I came across & you would be advised not to smoke anywhere you could be seen.

I'm also a smoker & ended up smoking on the balcony of my hotel room (luckily every room I stayed in had a balcony!!) but did not smoke outside as did not think it appropriate (does wonders for cutting down your intake!) - mind you I did not feel negatively judged in any way by the locals but just thought it was the right thing to do not to smoke publicly; in fact my trek guide smoked more of my cigarettes than I did (he was younger, fitter & had much more puff than I !!).

I can't remember if the hotel rooms allowed smoking inside - I guess you just ask each one & see what they say, or use the balcony.

One thing to remember is you will need to take your supply of cigarettes with you into Bhutan, as you cannot buy them when you're in country, and at the airport on arrival you have to declare them & pay the duty ..... For this there's a small customs room near the exit of the baggage hall - it doesn't cost much & only takes about 10 mins.

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Thimphu, Bhutan
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95 posts
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2. Re: Smoking in Bhutan

Remember that you will be allowed only 200 sticks of cigarettes paying 200% Tax. If you take more than that it will be confiscated by the custom officials and will give back when you depart.

Here is the link for clear information.


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6 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: Smoking in Bhutan

I totally agree with both previous replies, discretion is the order of the day, it's amazing what you see when you wander down small lanes to enjoy that discrete puff. We flew in from Calcutta where they confiscated all cigarette lighters at security and no lighter could be bought at the airport in Paro on arrival - so be prepared if you are a heavy smoker. Less smoking will do you good for Tiger's Nest - enjoy.

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Kolkata (Calcutta)
Kolkata (Calcutta)
Kolkata District, India
Paro District, Bhutan
Tiger's Nest Resort
Tiger's Nest Resort
181 Reviews
Paro, Bhutan
4. Re: Smoking in Bhutan

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