Germany has today begun the first steps towards phasing out smoking in public places. Smokers in two states, Lower Saxony and Baden Württemberg can now no longer puff away in public buildings or bars. Restaurants must also provide separate rooms for smokers. Seventeen years after the world’s first ban in California, smokers seem to be getting used to their fate. One smoker in Hanover says he’ll still come to the pub, he’ll just have to stand next to a heater outside if it’s cold. Although he adds that less nicotine is probably a good thing. Another man said: “I think a flat ban with tough penalties would have worked. I smoke and I wouldn’t mind that. I’ve seen it work in other countries.” A third state, Western-Pommerania, also brings restrictions in today but has until January to extend the ban to restaurants. State by state, the restrictions are being brought in gradually, and each will choose how to apply the law. Still relatively smoker-friendly, Germany chose not to impose the type of blanket ban that exists in countries such as Ireland and Italy.