Cough Cough. Smoking Continues For People In Spain

By Nancy Todd

I enter one of my favorite tapas bars,  order  patatas bravas and a chilled glass of vino de blanco.  Soon my eyes begin to sting.  Cough Cough.  Snort.  Wheeze.  Blowing your nose on a date is not sexy.

smoking inbarcelona, spain while you travel

Cafe de Centre in Barcelona Spain

When I get home, I drape my duds over chairs on the terrace to purge my smokey clothes of stink.  Smoke filled restaurants and bars are typical in Spain.   If Italy and France can ban smoking, so can Spain.

Fifty per cent of people in Spain die of smoke related causes. A tobacco law introduced in 2005 banned smoking from public places like buses.  If a restaurant had a space  more than 1,000 square feet.  they had to have a non-smoking area.  A survey showed this ban had not been followed in more than fifty per cent of  businesses.

A new smoking ordinance, due to take effect in January, 2010, has been stalled by haggling opposition parties.  The ban is now to be enacted in January, 2011.   The Popular Party (the PP) has not agreed to the ban.  Regional Health Chief, Juan Jose Guemes, a member of the PP weakly stated, “You never get good results from banning something.”   I’ll bet he is a smoker and cigarette lobbyists are paying for his golf trips to Brazil.  In this case, good results could mean a reduction in cancer, heart disease, etc.  Meanwhile, political  parties  fume, and people continue to die.  Watch Gueme’s golf game.  If it gets better, Spain has not banned smoking.

My local favorite bar, Cafe del Centre, is owned by non smokers.  Jordi, one of the owners, told me if they banned smoking, they would lose too much business.  Opponents contend that the country would lose billions in tax revenues.

Fortunately hospitals, offices, buses, etc. do not allow smoking.  Perhaps we should socialize, food/wine in hand, in these places and party down.  However, I don’t want my next birthday party to be in a bus.  Spain has come along way since the Franco years.  Come on, Spain, get into the 21st century and blow out the smoking.

What are your views on smoking in public places?  Let us know in the comments box below.

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One Comment

  1. Hunter Tremayne
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Of course, the reason Spain is so popular is because you CAN smoke and have a drink., which in many people’s eyes is a civilized way to have a good time. There being no factual evidence whatsoever that passive smoking causes smoke-related illness (a fact merrily pointed out in Penn & Teller’s HBO Urban Myth-debunking show BULLSHIT!) complainers are really reduced to itchy eyes and a dislike for the smell (the latter especially a factor for people who used to smoke). And, you know, there are plenty of Nanny State countries they can go to for relief.

One Trackback

  1. By Breathe Easy – Smoking Is Banned In Spain on January 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

    [...] Breathe a sigh of relief.  As of today, January 2, 2011, smoking in all restaurants and bars in Spain has been banned.   Also included is no smoking near hospitals or playgrounds.  No smoking on television broadcasts.  It wasn’t until 2006 that smoking was prohibited in the workplace.  (2006?  What?  2006?  Is this for real?  Yes.)  For more of my info on smoking in Spain, click here. [...]

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