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Cigarette Smoke

There seems to be no other forum on discussing what to us was one of the few negatives about travelling in Spain. On the street and in outdoor cafes, it is impossible to avoid cigarette smoke. Spain has a much higher percentage of cigarette smokers than in my area in the U. S. and walking down the street one is constantly exposed to cigarettes. Enjoying an outdoor cafe is more difficult because of the number of people smoking. We'd choose a seat far from the smokers and invariably either someone would light up or another group would sit near us and start smoking. Thankfully, indoor restaurants ban smoking and hotels do too. None of our hotel rooms smelled of smoke. Of course, there is no smoking in museums, cathedrals, etc. I've read that over 30% of Spaniards are smokers and that 30% seems to smoke a lot. The streets of Spain are relatively litter-free but for cigarette butts.

I just post this as an advisory for anyone who is allergic to cigarette smoke. It is impossible to avoid in Spain. It's really too bad. Otherwise it's a lovely country with friendly people and we enjoyed our trip immensely.

Posted by
8889 posts

Italy is just as bad. Smoking is banned in restaurants. But, in summer nobody is sitting inside the restaurant, all the tables and chairs are outside. And that is the public street where there is no ban.
No matter how carefully you choose a table to be away from smokers, there is nothing to stop somebody sitting down next to you and, just as you start eating, lighting up a cigarette and ruining your meal.

Posted by
6916 posts

The same goes for Greece and Turkey - they smoke a LOT and mostly sit outside in summer, hard to avoid.

Posted by
31575 posts

And Germany and France.

Oh, and Belgium, Switzerland, and London.

And anywhere the smoker tourists congregate, especially groups from high consumption countries like China, Thailand and Korea.

Posted by
402 posts

Funny you should mention that. On my one and only trip to Las Vegas, that was the one thing that never occurred to me yet has remained as my strongest memory. The amount of smoke, all over the casino's and even outside on the streets was overwhelming.

Posted by
5257 posts

20 states in the USA still permit smoking inside bars and/or restaurants, let alone outside.

Posted by
63 posts

30% seems low from our experience earlier this year. Agreed, impossible to avoid

Posted by
2349 posts

At a jazz festival in Orange, I asked at the gate if there was a non-smoking section, and the staffer floridly insisted, in full pro-forma volume, that smoking is allowed only outside, not inside.
Well, all five of the people sitting in the row in front of me were smoking, as were those to my left and over my shoulder.
I stood up to make a protest to the usher for my section, noticed that she -- the usher-- was puffing away, and sat back down. Spent the rest of the evening with my eyes watering.

Posted by
7175 posts

In Australia cigarettes have been "de-branded" and now come in plain packaging with graphic warnings and gruesome images. As well as work places, public transport, bars and restaurants it is increasingly illegal to smoke in sporting venues, beaches, pedestrian streets and anywhere near hospitals or schools. Bring it on I say !!
Unfortunately in Europe (and Asia) its a case of "when in Rome".

Posted by
12154 posts

I would put Europe at double the number of smokers as the U.S.

Asia is probably at least triple Europe. When going to a movie in Asia, expect the preview to start with a Marlboro commercial.

Most places in Europe are now smoke-free indoors, which means the smokers go outdoors.

Posted by
5828 posts

...would put Europe at double the number of smokers as the U.S.
Asia is probably at least triple Europe.

Yes on Europeans double the US rate, but Asia 3x Europe sounds excessive high. Just came back from China (Shanghai, Guizhou, Guilin) and the public smoking didn't seem obnoxious.

...World Health Organization, 28 percent of European adults smoked
daily in 2011, compared to 31 percent of French adults. Only 14
percent of American adults smoked daily in the same year.

Posted by
16893 posts

In a Paris pizzeria, before the indoor smoking ban, a pair of Frenchmen next to me said the were required to smoke because they were French.

Posted by
5257 posts

There is a considerable variation of smoking prevalence through Europe, rendering a continental average figure almost meaningless.

The highest rate is in the likes of Greece, Serbia and Russia.

Some countries are less than the USA, such as the UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, Sweden and Finland.

There are USA states where 30% smoke - Kentucky being the greatest.

Posted by
5828 posts

Marco's right. Some states (WV @ 27.3%, KY @ 26.5%) have smoking rates almost as high AF France's 30%+. But UTand CA at <12% bring the US average down.

The good news:

Currently, 17 EU countries have comprehensive smoke-free laws in
place. Among these, Ireland, the UK, Greece, Bulgaria, Malta, Spain
and Hungary have the strictest smoke-free provisions with a complete
ban on smoking in enclosed public places, on public transport and in
workplaces, with only limited exceptions allowed.

And China's making à start:

Public smoking in China's capital, Beijing, is now banned after the
introduction of a new law.