Spain Puts New Tougher Nonsmoking Policy into Effect

Written By Scott Joseph On January 3, 2011

It wasn’t even a New Year’s resolution, but I kicked what I estimate was a two pack-a-day smoking habit on January 2. Cold turkey.

All I had to do was fly home from Europe.

During my recent trip to Austria, Czech Republic and Germany, many of the restaurants, bars and clubs I wanted to visit were so smoky that I might as well have been lighting up  myself. Even in Austria and Germany, which are part of the European Union and must adhere to certain guidelines on smoking, nonsmoking signs were largely ignored. The restaurants that offered nonsmoking sections were laughable: the smoke-free tables were, of course, the worst in the house, and the smoke doesn’t really adhere to the invisible boundary.

It was far worse in Prague, which does not have to follow the European Union guidelines at all. But it was pretty bad in Berlin, too. (I had to switch rooms in my Berlin hotel because the first “nonsmoking room” I was assigned stunk of stale smoke so badly.)


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