I daresay that the Día Mundial Sin Tabaco (World No Smoking Day) today will not leave much of a mark in Spain, certainly not in Mallorca where I live.
Let’s see what happens today but, if the past 30 months are anything to go by Mallorcans and Spaniards fight the No-Smoking laws introduced two and a half years ago tooth and nail. Yes, you’ll find restaurants displaying a no-smoking sign on their doorways, but don’t be surprised if the people on the table next to you light up just as you are into your mains. And yes, you can find the odd bar here and there with a no-smoking sign on a wall, designating a smoke-free zone but, this area will more likely than not be in the same room with the smokers and the air conditioning will churn up the smoke with the rest of the air and swirl it around everywhere.
The good news is that in Spain (and Mallorca) the smoking ban appears to be upheld in public spaces such as airports and public buildings. Also, most offices and shops here adhere to the new law but exceptions are reported with regularity. The Spanish Ley Antitabaco came into effect in January 2006, with some measures becoming law in January 2007. I have not heard about any court cases in Mallorca since then on smoking offences, but national newspapers report that in Catalunya there were all but three court cases since 2006 on smoking offences. Over that timespan a total of 291 offenders where sanctioned with fines, again in Catalunya.
Much more needs to be done it would seem. The legalities are in place but offences against the law need to be brought to attention more rigorously.
The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 28th, 2009. The time was 10:43:52.