That got my attention, so I contacted Scott Carlson to find out more about this list. Scott thanks for taking time out to chat via e-mail about this unusual list for travelers.
Scott Carlson: Of course, Cliff. Thank you for the interest in our article.
Cliff T.: This is a novel idea, what prompted Skyscanner to develop the list?
Scott Carlson: I think one of our editorial team is a fan of interesting facts, so with “Worldwide, No Tobacco Day” on the 31st of May, we decided to look at which destinations cater to, and hinder smokers and non-smokers alike.
Cliff T.: One would not think that there is a large population of smokers traveling, is that myth or reality?
Scott Carlson: I guess that all depends on the perspective of the person asking the question. It has been my experience that many cultures differ in their reverence for, or aversion to, smoking-in-general. Nonetheless, I cannot say whether or not there is a larger-portion of smokers versus non-smokers traveling these days; it could make for an interesting thesis study though. Perhaps the sales volume(s) of cigarettes in duty-free destinations has something to do with it?
Cliff T.: I noticed that there are nine countries on the list and 5 are not smoker friendly 4, are there any others besides these countries that you found?
Scott Carlson: We could have included more destinations for both smokers and non-smokers alike, but then where do you stop? To be clear: any perceived slant toward, or “preference” for smoking versus non-smoking destinations was neither intentional nor intended on our part.
Cliff T.: Besides marking the annual No Tobacco Day, was there or is there another reason for making the list, like encouraging travel to a smokers and non-smoker’s paradise?
Scott Carlson: Not really, as I mentioned earlier, the criterion was based on the popularity of the destination as a whole, then we chose the most-interesting cities based on their approach to smoking. Working alongside country experts from various countries, I’ve noticed that smoking is seen quite differently from country to country and that made me wonder whether some destinations are seen as more attractive than others depending on their smoking policy.
Cliff T.: I have to ask are there any airlines that still allow passengers to smoke if so which ones?
Scott Carlson: None that I am aware of.
Cliff T.: Have you received any reaction to the list?
Scott Carlson: Yes, there has been a lot of interest from both smokers, and non-smokers alike. Like many things in life, the freedom to smoke, or not be exposed to second-hand smoke, in public venues is a very personal thing and we thought it would be interesting to highlight how different cultures perceive and regulate this freedom to choose.
Cliff T.: Were you surprised to find countries that still had no anti smoking laws?
Scott Carlson: Personally, I was not surprised. Many European cultures, as well as Japanese cultures have a different feeling toward smoking in public than some of their more “smoke-free” cousins. I think it best that, whatever side of the argument you sit on, you try and appreciate and respect the culture you are visiting…even if that means not having a smoke, or sitting next to someone who is smoking.
Cliff T.: If anyone wants to find the list where would they point their browser to?
Scott Carlson: Readers can find the article Here .
Cliff T.: Scott thanks for taking time out in your day to chat about this highly unusual list. It sounds like it was an interesting adventure searching the data.
Scott Carlson: It really was, Cliff. Thank you, again, for your interest. We like to examine the quirky-side of travel; so I hope that you find a few of our other articles interesting as well. I might suggest taking a look at our piece which examines where not to bring your knock-off, luxury items. We found that, in a few countries, you can be arrested simply for carrying a fake luxury bag or watch through customs. You can find it Here .
Cliff T: Scott Carlson is the US and Canadian Country Manager with Skyscanner: A global, Cheap Flight search engine. Skyscanner instantly compares online flight prices for over 670,000 routes on over 600 airlines. And with Skyscanner, users can just browse -without having to enter specific dates or destinations. Speak another language? Skyscanner is also available in 20 different languages: including Spanish, Chinese and French.
They came up with a list of countries that are smoker and non-smoker friendly.
You can visit the site at skyscanner.net and for the record I am a non-smoker. Just want to be up front with that bit of information. Anyway, the company is located in Edinburgh where Scott wrote to us from for this edition of Candid Conversations.
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