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Prohibido Fumar

I am pleased to report that here in Felanitx (Mallorca) the newly introduced smoking ban has been successfully implemented so far. The ban came into law two days ago, and so far, the new law seems to have been adhered to, at least in the bar where I enjoy my daily café solo. There was not a single ashtray to be seen inside the bar, nor anyone smoking, and there was a small sign saying Prohibido Fumar. The smokers were all outside, puffing away. Maybe the threat of severe fines of up to 100,000 € acted as a deterrent. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but I was somewhat surprised.

When the current Spanish government introduced an initial smoking ban in 2006, the local bars here were quick-witted to beat the rather liberal legal restrictions. Then, bars with premises smaller than 100 m² were allowed to opt out and simply declare themselves as establishments where smoking would be allowed. And bars bigger than that were allowed to partition off parts of their premises for smokers. In general it was a mess then, at least for the non-smoking population. But now, here in Mallorca, exceptions to the rule seem to be few and far between. Bars and restaurants so far seem to be playing by the rule books, and some patrons seem to be trying to kick their smoking habit.

Further away, on the Spanish peninsula, there have been reports of a few hundred violations in the first two days, though, and in particular in Andalucía. Old habits are hard to beat, and harder in some places.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 28th, 2010. The time was 11:02:50.

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