Smoking in Panama

Panama is a Smoke-Free Country

If you’re a smoker (including vaping) and planning a trip to Panama, you must know that no smoking is allowed in most public places in Panama.  This includes no smoking when you are walking down the street.  There are very few designated smoking areas where you will be allowed to smoke.

All hotels are smoke-free. Some hotels will have a small smoking area outside and away from the entrance.  Hotels do not allow smoking in any hotel room or on the balcony.

All casinos are smoke-free.

Many apartment and condo complexes do not allow smoking on the balcony.  Some landlords will not allow smoking in the house or anywhere on the property.

In addition, smoking is not allowed within a specified distance of doorways, outdoor patios of bars or restaurants, parks/beaches, outdoor stadiums, and outdoor markets. These rules apply to vaping too.

When you arrive at Tocumen International Airport, you will be greeted by the sign below, which spells out where you cannot smoke.  Panama is hoping to be a completely smoke-free country soon.

For now,  you can still buy cigarettes in Panama.

However, e-cigarettes and vaping materials cannot be sold or imported into Panama.

Every package of cigarettes will have advertising on the front and back to try to convince you not to smoke cigarettes:

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Valerie Treese says

    One of the many things I love about Panama! I wonder why Picasso’s in Coronado allows smoking on their patio. There were 3 chain smokers sitting on the patio when we were there last month.

    • Jackie Lange says

      It is against the law. The restaurant could get a big fine. There should not have been anyone smoking at their patio

  2. Fire says

    Since smoking in public is restricted, are there cases where people smoke at home and second hand smoke affects neighbors via the corridors in apartments or neighboring homes?

    • Jackie Lange says

      second hand smoke is certainly an issue. That’s why many condos and apartments do not allow smoking on the balcony.

  3. Jan Salter says

    This means Panama does not succumb to the influence (money) of big tobacco. And judging by the affordability of healthcare, apparently not big pharma either. 2 of the very things that disgust me about the US. Sooo hoping to spend at least 6 months of the year there. Got to retire first.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Come see how you can live BETTER in Panama!

  4. Steve says

    Just one more (BIG) reason to look seriously at retiring in this outstanding little country. If I never again smell the garbage emanating from a cancer stick, it will be too soon! Thanks for this important update, Jackie!

  5. Charles says

    Things sure have changed. I remember being a teenager military dependent growing up there back in the 70s. You could buy three cigarettes wrapped in banana paper for a nickel from those little stores called kioskos.

  6. Vanessa R Cook says

    My husband enjoys an occasional cigar—does this mean he would have to quit cold turkey?

    • Jackie Lange says

      He can smoke the cigar but only in a few designated areas. Or on your property, if it’s allowed there.

    • Kamil says

      I’m a cigar smoker too. I’ll have to be particular about where I lodge 🫠

      • Jackie Lange says

        all hotels are non-smoking. many condos do not allow smoking anywhere, not even on the balcony, except designated smoking areas.

  7. Elana says

    Where would a person looking for cigarettes go to buy them? We will be at the Dreams Playa Resort in a day & a friend forgot their cigarettes at home. I’d prefer he find a pack than go crazy on us…

    • Jackie Lange says

      That resort is smoke-free. they have a small designated smoking area away from the front entrance – that is the only place you can smoke there. A grocery store will usually have cigarettes but not at every checkout.

      • Jakayla says

        As a tourist, am I allowed to bring my vape pen?

        • Jackie Lange says

          You can bring your vape pen but you cannot use it anywhere in public anywhere. vaping is illegal in Panama. Vaping is not allowed in hotels.
          Vape supplies are not sold anywhere in Panama… legally.

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