Butt Out: A Dozen International No Smoking Signs

 No Smoking sign Egypt 1a


“No Smoking” by any other name still smells the same, and these dozen international No Smoking signs want you to know smoking stinks here, there and everywhere.

Flickr user alexanderjstein brings us this pleasingly designed No Smoking sign from Cairo, Egypt. The sign differs from the standard black white & red graphic so many smokers have long since tuned out in a number of ways: the use of contrasting yet unobtrusive colors, the ring of thirty crosses (what could they signify?) and the slightly unsettling smoking skull.

No Smoking sign Japan 2a

Familiar yet different, that’s a common feature of many international No Smoking signs. The gritty pictogram above comes to us courtesy of Flickr user Nemo’s great uncle and was captured outside a Tokyo train station in early September of 2007. The wording along the red circle’s upper half reads “rojō kitsuen kinshi”, or “no smoking in street” while the four characters below spell out the name of Chiyoda-ku, the first metro Tokyo municipal government to pass a “no smoking” ordinance banning smoking within a certain distance from a station entrance or exit. Just one quibble… shouldn’t the red diagonal lay OVER the stylized cigarette and not under it?

No Smoking sign Hong Kong

Speaking of mixed messages, what are we to think of the above No Smoking sign, embossed in gold over what looks a LOT like a home mailbox? Of course, if this actually IS a mailbox the owner wouldn’t be keen on folks depositing still-smoking butts inside – it kind of makes those overdue bills even harder to read. Hmm, maybe this guy’s smarter than we think. 

No Smoking sign Serbia cheese grater

Smoking while grating cheese in Serbia? Don’t do the crime if you don’t want to do the time! Kudos to Flickr user Ivana Vasilj for photo-documenting the image above, presumably taken at an unusually strict eatery in the Balkan nation’s northern city of Novi Sad. 


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