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Monday, January 10, 2011 (read 744 times)
2011 - Spain and Smoke free bars!by Kimberly
You may have noticed that there has been a slight lag in blogs for the last couple of weeks. I am sure you cannot blame us, since you were probably hanging out with your family and enjoying the holiday season as well.
As for myself, well, I took a trip with 5 Spaniards to the US. We started off in New York, where we spent Christmas, and then we were off to Las Vegas with a short side trip to Los Angeles. All I can say is that it was very tiring! The only major bump in the road was that lovely snow storm on the East coast that nearly ended our chances to getting to Las Vegas. Well, we figured it out, and all was well :)
What is new in Spain? Well, as I posted a couple of months ago, Spain passed an anti-tobacco law on January 2. Why the 2nd and not the first? Well, they didn't want to ring in the New Year with mass non-compliance of the law, since technically the 1st of January is really the night of the 31st and everyone was probably out partying.
What has changed? Everything! It is great! No more cigarette filled bars and clubs, much more comfortable.
What is the general consensus? Wow, this is a HOT topic in daily conversations. Many people complain that Spain is becoming too "American" or following the word of the EU too much. What made Spain famous over the last years is its liberal rules and fun atmosphere.
Others complain that this will ruin their business. I mean, how many coffees will a typical bar lose from the patrons who used to come down just to have breakfast and smoke a cigarette?
Others (mainly heavy smokers) complain that you can just impose new laws on people. It is not fair! I mean, before you could choose whether or not to go in a bar. Heck, if you didn't like smoke, then why did you go? Needless to say, you can argue until you are blue in the face that non-smokers only had one bar to choose from (the only non-smoking bar in all of Salamanca) and that that really did not amount to much of a choice...
Others (even smokers) welcome the change! Heck, this weekend we were jokingly referring to the front door in the street as the "VIP" section were people congregated to smoke. The good news? Well.. now we have a new way of meeting each other and making friends!
So, for Spain, who in recent memory allowed smoking in hospitals, the airport and even buses, this is a big change to their normal reality. It will take some time to get used to, and it is odd. Now you hear comments about bars smelling like "humidity" or "food", replacing the muggy smoky smell.
I think it is a great step forward, and, smoker or not, I think it is wonderful to be able to enjoy a drink and a tapa without having to worry about cleaning my clothes afterwards.
Spain SMOKE FREE! One more reason for people to come and enjoy this beautiful country!
Keywords: smoke, bars