Spain has one of the most far-reaching non-smoking laws in Europe. There are no special regulations, such as separate smoking areas in restaurants or free choice in bars.
Smoking is prohibited in publicly accessible buildings and public transport (including taxis), at work, in train stations, in discotheques, in bars and restaurants, outdoors on the premises of hospitals, health centres, schools and kindergartens. Smoking is also not permitted on playgrounds.
Smoking is permitted on terraces (e.g. in restaurants), in your own four walls and on the balcony, in sports stadiums (however, smoking is prohibited in the stadiums of FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol), in hotel rooms - unless prohibited by the operator - and with the exceptions mentioned above, everywhere in the fresh air.
Most hotels have both smoking and non-smoking rooms. You can specify which one you prefer during the booking process.
Smoking on the beach is prohibited from 01 July 2022. The penalty will be €30.
The penalties for violating the non-smoker protection law are draconian, especially for the owners of the bars and restaurants. Like the previous regulation, the anti-tobacco law will be closely monitored and consistently enforced.
Before the strict protection laws were introduced, Spain and Barcelona had a reputation for smoking so heavily in pubs and bars that you could no longer put your hand in front of your face and non-smoker protection laws were consistently flouted. But that's definitely not the case for Barcelona. No host would jeopardize their franchise to be tolerant here.
More than half of the bars - before the tightening up in 2011 they had the choice between smoking and non-smoking bars - had already decided in favor of the non-smoking variant and many restaurants had not set up a non-smoking area, although it would have been possible for them to do so.
Meanwhile, the excitement about the introduction of strict non-smoking protection laws and the fear of en masse closing restaurants, bars and clubs has subsided. Going outside to smoke is a matter of course when visiting a restaurant or bar, as is the case in almost all of Europe.
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