Can Travelers Smoke When Traveling in Tibet

When you travel to Tibet, the main thing is to give your body enough time to acclimatize before going higher. Be prepared to adjust your plans, descend or spend a few extra days acclimatizing if it proves necessary. Some suggestions are recommended to those who just arrived at the plateau region: to not walk fast or run, to not do manual labour, don’t overeat in order to reduce the burden on the digestive organs, don’t drink and smoke… This page mainly talks about can the travelers smoke when traveling in Tibet.

Misunderstanding on Smoking in Tibet

Many people say that you cannot smoke in Tibet, which makes it difficult for many tourists who are addicted to cigarettes and yearn for Tibet. In fact, there is no smoking ban in Tibet. You can smoke in Tibet, but you have to smoke as less as possible, because at the high altitudes, the oxygen content is quite low. Smoking will consume the oxygen in the air, but also the carbon monoxide generated by the cigarette shall be absorbed by the hemoglobin. Smoking shall obviously aggravate high altitude sickness. Tourists entering Tibetan areas need to adapt to the transition from low altitude to high, so they will not smoke if you can. Besides, you may not want to smoke on the plateau to avoid any harm to the environment as it is a beautiful sacred area. If you must smoke in Tibet, buy a plateau cigarette lighter. Ordinary lighters can’t be lit above an altitude of more than 4,000 meters.

When Smoking is not Allowed

In some certain occasions, smoking is not allowed. When you have just arrived in Tibet for the first or two days, it’s better not to smoke because it may make you breathe hard and get altitude sickness easily. The common disease in Tibet is the high altitude sickness which may happen when people have just arrived in Tibet. So in order to have a perfect holiday in Tibet, please do not smoke in the first or two days and smoke as less as possible during the whole journey. 

When you travel to Tibet, do as the Romans do. Smoking is not allowed in some public places in Tibet, especially after entering the monasteries. In addition, do not smoke in a mountain pass at a high altitude, which will make you get altitude sickness quickly.

Read more about Altitude Sickness in Tibet.