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Old 2nd March 2009, 06:13 PM   #1
Gem
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Default Smoking ban in Spain?

Hola a tod@s!

I have had a look for a recent thread on the forum and not found anything in the last few months so thought Iīd bring this theme up again.

Are there any plans for a smoking ban in the near future - if at all - in Spain? Iīve been living here for two years now, and although I love it and much prefer it to London in so many ways, I canīt stand the smoke in bars, the street, restaurants...

I tried looking for a petition to sign or a news article on future planned legislation, but found nothing more than articles from 2006 about the partial ban which has resolved nothing! If Italy can do it, why canīt Spain?

Is there anything we can do - petition online or similar - which might at least help a little to speed up Zapatero bringing in a law?

Why should I finish every night out with a burning throat, stinging eyes and clothes that smell of an ashtray? Por favor, ojalá que cambie pronto!
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Old 2nd March 2009, 06:56 PM   #2
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I tried looking for a petition to sign or a news article on future planned legislation, but found nothing more than articles from 2006 about the partial ban which has resolved nothing!
Well, yes it did. It resolved that lots of people enjoy a cigarette. Those places which did ban it in 2006 rapidly changed their minds or are just as rapidly constructing smoking areas.
These posts are always from non smokers about prohibiting perfectly law abiding citizens like me from enjoying a cigarette with a drink. After the 2006 legislation Spain basically voted its opinion of the law with its feet.
Let's put the boot on the othetr foot. Where can I find a restaurant where I can enjoy a smoke with my coffee after the meal. I am resigned to dining and waiting until I leave before I can have that smoke. If I can put up with non smokers wishes on that, then non smokers can equally put up with mine.
(Expecting a few brickbats here!!)
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Old 2nd March 2009, 07:13 PM   #3
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Well, yes it did. It resolved that lots of people enjoy a cigarette. Those places which did ban it in 2006 rapidly changed their minds or are just as rapidly constructing smoking areas.
These posts are always from non smokers about prohibiting perfectly law abiding citizens like me from enjoying a cigarette with a drink. After the 2006 legislation Spain basically voted its opinion of the law with its feet.
Let's put the boot on the othetr foot. Where can I find a restaurant where I can enjoy a smoke with my coffee after the meal. I am resigned to dining and waiting until I leave before I can have that smoke. If I can put up with non smokers wishes on that, then non smokers can equally put up with mine.
(Expecting a few brickbats here!!)
Don't listen to Richard, he is an evil smoker Someone told me recently that the Jefa of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, said it would be at least 2 years until any such prohibition went through in Madrid.

Aragon has talked about banning it there soon, but we'll see if it happens.

So there isn't much hope on the horizon for health-minded folk like us who have to put up with such a thoroughly horrendous habit when we go out for a beer or two.

I'd bet on a UK-style ban within 5 years, maybe before, but I'm not sure. All the politicians here are scared of loosing votes over it... and like ZP, most of them smoke!

I recently ranted about it on the blog here.

As for finding non-smoking places:

http://www.nofumadores.org/ociosinhumos/buscador.asp

.. and they have a 'take action' page too:

http://www.nofumadores.org/colaborar.asp
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Old 2nd March 2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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What's really annoying is that they can install air cleaning systems that would allow everyone to enjoy their night out. But that costs moey! Might have been a better use for it than all the failed advertising that went on when they introduced the ban.
Long term, only education for new generations will solve the problem I guess.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 07:40 PM   #5
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Why should I finish every night out with a burning throat, stinging eyes and clothes that smell of an ashtray? Por favor, ojalá que cambie pronto!
Uche uche uche!

(That's Dutch for coughing)

I'm on your side!
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Old 2nd March 2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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Well, yes it did. It resolved that lots of people enjoy a cigarette. Those places which did ban it in 2006 rapidly changed their minds or are just as rapidly constructing smoking areas.
These posts are always from non smokers about prohibiting perfectly law abiding citizens like me from enjoying a cigarette with a drink. After the 2006 legislation Spain basically voted its opinion of the law with its feet.
Let's put the boot on the othetr foot. Where can I find a restaurant where I can enjoy a smoke with my coffee after the meal. I am resigned to dining and waiting until I leave before I can have that smoke. If I can put up with non smokers wishes on that, then non smokers can equally put up with mine.
(Expecting a few brickbats here!!)
Yep, I totally agree - what is it with these health nuts? What exactly is the problem with polluting the atmosphere with noxious fumes, incommoding those all around, soiling their clothes with the persistent miasma, and, of course, the mere trifling matter of putting their health at risk?

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Old 3rd March 2009, 08:19 AM   #7
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Yep, I totally agree - what is it with these health nuts? What exactly is the problem with polluting the atmosphere with noxious fumes, incommoding those all around, soiling their clothes with the persistent miasma, and, of course, the mere trifling matter of putting their health at risk?

That'll be the 4X4 drivers then?
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Old 3rd March 2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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Gracias for the comments, guys! Sorry - I didnīt want to come in here, guns blazing, but I thought it might be good to turn my frustration into something at least a little pro-active and see if there was anything I could do (even in a small way) to add my voice to supporting a ban.

Richardksa - I can see you want the freedom to enjoy a cigarette, but my problem is that while you do, I (and others, including children who frequently get taken to bars in Spain) suffer the consequences. I like to go out for a drink, but it doesnīt mean carconogenic chemicals are inflicted on everyone else in the room while I sip my ice-cold Estrella. I can see there are many who enjoy smoking - Iīm sure there would have been a fair few who would have agreed with you in Italy (I lived there for a year and saw how much smoking was part of daily life, so it surprised me that they could pass the legislation), the UK, Ireland... However, it comes down to a right to *not* smoke too, and if a large group of European countries can put a smoking ban on, then why canīt Spain? I imagine the bars who originally banned smoking in 2006 - then reverted to being smoking bars again - realised they were losing out because of the smoking culture here. If I were a bar owner and able to stand cigarette smoke, I would probably have done the same - it makes economic sense. The only way for legislation to work is to remove the choice and make it a complete ban.

Ben - thanks for replying -great podcasts - keep up the good work! Interesting news about Esperanza Aguirreīs opinion - I thought it probably wouldnīt be in the pipeline too soon, not having heard of any pending legislation. I imagine Zapatero wonīt want to introduce any legislation at this time given that he wants to be seen as apoyando the country in this time of "crisis" and not creating big changes. Thanks also for the link - I was thinking of starting a website to list non-smoking bars in Bcn (hoping it would include more than McDonaldīs) but it seems theyīve got it covered already - Iīll have a look.

Greytop - I agree, but at this time more than ever, no bar will spend lots of pasta on anything thatīs not necessary! And education is vital, I agree.

Edith and Gastephen -
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Old 3rd March 2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Don't listen to Richard, he is an evil smoker
So now, because I am a smoker I am not allowed the right to express my opinion.
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Originally Posted by Gem View Post
...The only way for legislation to work is to remove the choice and make it a complete ban.
What sort of world do you want where we are not given a choice in our life styles. I do not wish to smother you with smoke. There should indeed be places where non smokers should be able to go to have a drink or a meal where smoking is prohibited. And there are; plenty of them. Believe me, I go with non-smoking friends to the places of their choice. And I don't sit there complaining that I cannot have a cigarette.
Society is made of people of many different lifestyles. But you won't find me demanding that bars with obtrusive music be banned on the grounds that I can't stand it. I move on. I don't like drunks - so there are some bars I avoid. But I don't clamour for these people to change.
My feeling is that we should all have a choice. In a democracy we have that right. My comment about the 2006 legislation was to point that out. The people made their choice.
What I enjoy about living in Spain is its live and let live lifestyle. But because I smoke I do not demand that every bar and restaurant should allow smoking. I live with the fact that some people are different from me.
Now a little story: Recently I went to one of the English Villages. The venue allowed smoking at the bar, but because of the loud voices of a non smoking minority (this is true - that week there were more smokers than non!) we volunteered to smoke only outside. There was two feet of snow and the temperature rarely rose above zero, but we wrapped up warm and went outside. So one evening a group of us are huddled together around the gowing tips of our cigarettes trying to keep warm and a non smoker exited the bar and walked past us. In a loud voice she declared, "How horrible. There's too much smoke out here. It's disgusting that we have to walk through it".
All together to the tune of the german national anthem, "Non fumadores, uber alles!!"
Remember, smokers should have a choice too!
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Old 3rd March 2009, 12:51 PM   #10
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OK, who left the door open and let the Richard out! Bad Richard, bad! Get back into your room underneath the stairs before anyone sees you!
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Old 3rd March 2009, 02:18 PM   #11
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I smoke and I like Spanish bars because I can smoke in them. I don't like other people telling me what to do "for my own good" but I readily admit that smoking is unpleasant and injurious for those who have to suck up the toxins we smokers produce.

What I don't quite see why there seems to be this absolutist mania about smoking - I would never say that to the unwashed man next to me in the Mercadona queue that he stinks but people seem quite happy to pass personal comments about me because I smoke.

What, exactly, was the problem with the formerly acceptable division of public spaces into smoking and non smoking? The answer cannot be a public health one (because there is no thought of legislation about slurping down huge quantities of fat and sugar) or an environmental one (cars produce tons of toxins and make an enormous racket as well as slaughtering people outright) so it must just be an ideological one. Rather thin ice in my opinion.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 02:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
So now, because I am a smoker I am not allowed the right to express my opinion.

What sort of world do you want where we are not given a choice in our life styles. I do not wish to smother you with smoke. There should indeed be places where non smokers should be able to go to have a drink or a meal where smoking is prohibited. And there are; plenty of them. Believe me, I go with non-smoking friends to the places of their choice. And I don't sit there complaining that I cannot have a cigarette.
Society is made of people of many different lifestyles. But you won't find me demanding that bars with obtrusive music be banned on the grounds that I can't stand it. I move on. I don't like drunks - so there are some bars I avoid. But I don't clamour for these people to change.
My feeling is that we should all have a choice. In a democracy we have that right. My comment about the 2006 legislation was to point that out. The people made their choice.
Choice. Thatīs great, if I could easily choose to go to a non-smoking bar. However, itīs not that easy... looking at the www.nofumadores.org website I find there are 111 bars in Barcelona. This includes a percentage which are not actually in the city, but in the province. Then subtract the 9 that are listed as Starbucks (overpriced for the tourists, but at least choosing to adhere to the US standard) and you have a pitifully small quantity left which, among thousands of bars/clubs in Barcelona is a tiny amount. I live in Bcn so I guess itīs even harder to find non-smoking bars outside the city. If youīd like to add the names of the (how many?) places you got dragged to with your extremist, non-smoking friends, please do feel free to amplify the list.

Fine, you can avoid the bars with music not to your taste (even though itīs not damaging your health, necessarily - only if it were played very loud), you can choose not to go to the places where you might have to sit next to a drunk (although if you were dragged there by your friends Iīm sure youīd find it within your rights to complain to the appropriate authority if he endangered your health or came and bothered you while you sat there having a drink). However, this might rule out two or three bars in your choice of thousands. If you apply the same idea to people who donīt want to sit in a smoky environment, you narrow down the options considerably.

The people didnīt make their choice - the bar owners did, choosing the easiest option available from legislation created.

Quote:
What I enjoy about living in Spain is its live and let live lifestyle.
Thatīs an interesting choice of phrase. I hope you can see the irony.

Quote:
Now a little story: Recently I went to one of the English Villages. The venue allowed smoking at the bar, but because of the loud voices of a non smoking minority (this is true - that week there were more smokers than non!) we volunteered to smoke only outside. There was two feet of snow and the temperature rarely rose above zero, but we wrapped up warm and went outside. So one evening a group of us are huddled together around the gowing tips of our cigarettes trying to keep warm and a non smoker exited the bar and walked past us. In a loud voice she declared, "How horrible. There's too much smoke out here. It's disgusting that we have to walk through it".
All together to the tune of the german national anthem, "Non fumadores, uber alles!!"
Remember, smokers should have a choice too!
I wonder if there are any Germans on the forum...?
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Old 3rd March 2009, 03:09 PM   #13
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I smoke and I like Spanish bars because I can smoke in them. I don't like other people telling me what to do "for my own good" but I readily admit that smoking is unpleasant and injurious for those who have to suck up the toxins we smokers produce.

What I don't quite see why there seems to be this absolutist mania about smoking - I would never say that to the unwashed man next to me in the Mercadona queue that he stinks but people seem quite happy to pass personal comments about me because I smoke.
You can smoke - itīs your personal choice, obviously. Itīs when it directly affects my health then I take issue with it.

Quote:
What, exactly, was the problem with the formerly acceptable division of public spaces into smoking and non smoking? The answer cannot be a public health one (because there is no thought of legislation about slurping down huge quantities of fat and sugar) or an environmental one (cars produce tons of toxins and make an enormous racket as well as slaughtering people outright) so it must just be an ideological one. Rather thin ice in my opinion.
I guess it was formerly acceptable (generally speaking, although Iīm not sure who or where youīre talking about) because it meant that those who wanted to smoke could smoke, and vice-versa. However, in all the cases Iīve seen where there are two areas, it never works practically. If it could, and non-smokers/smokers wanted to sit separately, then great. I donīt know how theyīd model the legislation for something so economically demanding for each local, though.

Yes, cars produce harmful chemicals, and that is another issue, but this is legislation that has been approved already by other countries internationally. Itīs attainable, and obviously makes sense to the governments who have seen fit to apply the laws. Why shouldnīt laws change and evolve? The damage to health of smoking wasnīt as widely known in the 1950s... it was legal to smoke in planes, offices, public transport; this doesnīt mean the same rules shouldnīt be applied to other spaces as the evidence becomes more and more clear about the health risks of smoking.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 03:52 PM   #14
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I worked in the entertainment industry for 20 years, on and off. Smokers were a fact of life then and, having just had my 55+ MOT my health seems not to have suffered, lungs fine, heart fine and BP now fine with meds. I admit that it makes a pleasant change not to have your clothes smelling of smoke the morning after a nigh out.
Tonight I shall be going for a drink with my mate Dan, he is a smoker and every half hour or so he disappears outside for a smoke. The fact that he smokes is his business and Im not overly concerned that he does, its just that I get to spend at least 20% of my evening sitting on my own like a lemon!!
In defence of Richard, a self confessed smoker, I have spent several hours in his company and never been offended by his smoking, like many smokers he knows that others may find the smoke unpleasant and skilfully manages to minimise its impact on those around him, should he choose to partake.
Give em a break - smokers my age were hooked years ago and have supported the (British) economy for a long long time, I for one (never having smoked) elect to give them a little lassitude.

Last edited by gary; 3rd March 2009 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 09:42 PM   #15
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Hola a tod@s!

I have had a look for a recent thread on the forum and not found anything in the last few months so thought Iīd bring this theme up again.

Are there any plans for a smoking ban in the near future - if at all - in Spain? Iīve been living here for two years now, and although I love it and much prefer it to London in so many ways, I canīt stand the smoke in bars, the street, restaurants...

I tried looking for a petition to sign or a news article on future planned legislation, but found nothing more than articles from 2006 about the partial ban which has resolved nothing! If Italy can do it, why canīt Spain?

Is there anything we can do - petition online or similar - which might at least help a little to speed up Zapatero bringing in a law?

Why should I finish every night out with a burning throat, stinging eyes and clothes that smell of an ashtray? Por favor, ojalá que cambie pronto!
Listen, I enjoy a habit that some people complain about... I love eating faeces, why cant I enjoy my habit in public without people complaining about the smell, that it splashes on them and can affect their health. What about my rights to enjoy my addiction?
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Old 3rd March 2009, 10:10 PM   #16
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Listen, I enjoy a habit that some people complain about... I love eating faeces, why cant I enjoy my habit in public without people complaining about the smell, that it splashes on them and can affect their health. What about my rights to enjoy my addiction?
No problem Paul - carry on! Dare I say itīs all about freedom of choice... Iīll just hunt out those places that donīt allow the faeces-eaters ...pah, extremists!

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Old 3rd March 2009, 10:55 PM   #17
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No problem Paul - carry on! Dare I say itīs all about freedom of choice... Iīll just hunt out those places that donīt allow the faeces-eaters ...pah, extremists!

I think you have solved your problem , if you dont like smokers then hunt for a bar that doesnt allow it , simple. I dont smoke but I am not going to condem anyone who does it is their choice and if I felt that it would bother me I would go somewhere else.
I think it would be wrong to have a dig at smokers and complain about polluting the air around me, then jump it to a car and drive off with the exhaust belching out pollution that may be more damaging than a cigarette.

By the way it Paul wants to eat faeces, well I say let him . Im not going to complain what with all the dog mess that is on the streets he can eat until his hearts content and its all for free.
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Old 4th March 2009, 01:13 PM   #18
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I think you have solved your problem , if you dont like smokers then hunt for a bar that doesnt allow it , simple.
You donīt live in Spain, right? As I mentioned before, itīs very difficult to find a place thatīs non-smoking. Try to find one, then arrange to meet in said bars and restaurants when you want your morning 10-minute-coffee next to your workplace (with colleagues or business clients), menú del día in your lunch break, or after-work caņa. Itīs not simple.

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I dont smoke but I am not going to condem anyone who does it is their choice and if I felt that it would bother me I would go somewhere else.
Iīm not condemning smokers - if they want to smoke, fine! Iīm talking about the effects of smoking on me and others. Why should you and me - as non-smokers - have to go somewhere else for someone elseīs antisocial behaviour? The law that still says people can smoke in bars is outdated.

Quote:
I think it would be wrong to have a dig at smokers and complain about polluting the air around me, then jump it to a car and drive off with the exhaust belching out pollution that may be more damaging than a cigarette.
The two are unrelated - each is a different issue, and just because cars are permitted to emit certain levels of pollution doesnīt mean that smokers should be able to smoke in bars! For the record, I go by public transport/bike/my feet, but I think you canīt justify one with another.

Quote:
By the way it Paul wants to eat faeces, well I say let him . Im not going to complain what with all the dog mess that is on the streets he can eat until his hearts content and its all for free.
I just hope he doesnīt end up sitting next to you when youīre out with friends...

As for cutting smokers slack because theyīve "supported the British economy for years"... maybe smoking related diseases have caused many people to have to use the NHS as well! People, if you want to smoke, do it, just donīt take away my choice to not smoke! And what about children who arenīt old enough to choose which bars they frequent with their family? I personally think itīs good that kids are allowed to socialise with adults and other families in restaurant/bar settings per se, but not with the current laws on smoking.
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Old 4th March 2009, 08:55 PM   #19
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It has just been on the news tonight that 40 pubs are week are closing here and that the no smoking legislation is playing a major part in this. Government figures show that 80% of people that go to the pubs more than 4 times a week are smokers.There is usually more people stood outside the pub than inside.It would seem that the non smokers are sitting in comfort at the smokers expense. It is not surprising then that the amount of people going to pubs has fallen dramatically since legislation was passed here and at the same time there is a huge increase in sales of beer in the supermarkets since the smokers have decided enough is enough with the persecution and all are staying at home having a few cans of beer with friends.
A lot of people have lost their livelyhoods now because the non smokers just dont spend enough money in the pubs. Spain can see how other countries are suffering with this antismoking law and see how it will effect how they will make a living.The owners should have the right to allow or not allow smoking on their premises.If Spain was to pass any legislation now with regards to no smoking then thousands or bars would close for good leaving thousands of people without work.but hey at least our clothes wont smell I guess thats whats most important.
As for smoking and fumes from cars are not different issues as they both are damaging to the health and if you ban smoking you should ban the use of car, taxes,public transport for the same reason that it is damaging to your health.(If I had to stand in a pub with a smoker or in a garage with a car with its engine running I know which I would choose).
People dont want to cut smokers any slack but at the same time will jump into a car or use public transport and help to contribute to the damage all these posionos fumes will do to the publics health , But some people will give traffic pollution a break and not attack it with the same venom as smokers as it helps them get to a to b easily and quickly allthough it will be killing a few of us a long the journey.

Last edited by Andy.G.; 5th March 2009 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 4th March 2009, 09:39 PM   #20
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As for cutting smokers slack because theyīve "supported the British economy for years"... maybe smoking related diseases have caused many people to have to use the NHS as well!
Treating smoking related illnes in England (i.e. only part of the UK) cost the NHS Ģ2.7 billion in 2007.
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