Not in the USA. Just a detailed warning. But there are also strong laws which forbid smoking in most enclosed public places and within a limited number of feet outside those places. There is no smoking in restaurants and bars, even outdoor places, although the outdoor venues are not all observed.
The former is "to be able to" and the latter is "to smoke."
I'm not sure of the difference between уметь and можно, though, other than one being a verb and the other looking like an adverb. Maybe it's like "can/may" of "mother, may I..." versus "have the ability to", like "he can (i.e., has the physical ability to) lift an entire car on his own."
The reason this wouldn't be accepted is because of the English translation. That sentence doesn't work in English. It sounds like you probably get the Russian meaning just fine, but for Duolingo to work, the English sentences should in theory make sense also. There are a number of ways I might say this:
Where is one allowed to smoke? Where is it permitted to smoke? Where may one smoke? Where is smoking allowed? Where is smoking permitted?
But in English, we'd never say "Where is allowed..." You MIGHT be able to say "Where is it allowed to... " but even that is a tiny bit awkward.
Not really, no. One thing you'll learn about languages is that things don't always translate literally. Russian and English are very different languages, so they're going to use different constructions for a lot of things. That's one of the harder parts of learning languages, having to learn how things are supposed to be written when they don't translate word for word.
In this case the Russian sentence seems to be more general. Another way to translate it could be "Where are you allowed to smoke?" with the you being more general, or "Where is one allowed to smoke?" Perhaps the most literal way to translate it would be "Where is smoking allowed?"
I'm not sure if any of those translations are currently accepted, but they should be appropriate translations regardless.
A more literal gloss of можно might be "it-is-possible," and a more literal translation of the sentence as "where is-it-possible to-smoke?" My understanding is that можно indicates a general permissability or possibility and that it's used here to ask for permission indirectly. We sometimes do this in English: "Is there someplace to smoke around here?"
мочь is used to indicate that the subject itself is able or allowed to do something, rather than a general "one is permitted to." "я могу курить" is putting the emphasis on my personal ability to smoke, e.g. "I am capable of smoking." So "Где я могу курить?" would be more like "where am I capable of smoking?", which is a very strange question to ask.
Also, it's best not to respond to questions like the one Tuxsanov asked as it's explicitly stated in many places that comprehension of the English language is a prerequisite for this course.
Downvoting questions like these from those who clearly lack English comprehension hides the bad questions and reduces the clutter for those of us that abide by the rules.
I missed where it said that there are prerequisites to this course; probably in the terms and conditions? Too long ago to remember.
I have made a habit of assuming that other people who use poor grammar from a lack of knowledge are on a reverse learning-tree. I myself plan to do the same: once I have completed the Russian for English speakers course, I will begin the English for Russian speakers course, for an added challenge. When I begin that course, I have no illusions about being fluent; instead, I imagine and fully expect that I will pose honest questions with accidental or simply unknowing bad grammar to Russian native-speakers. When I do so, I hope they don't downvote me, and I hope they abide by the rules of Duolingo's explicit guidelines:
> If someone uses incorrect grammar or has a question you think has an obvious answer, kindly and calmly help them out. Heckling and being straight up mean doesn’t help anyone learn.