As of Sunday, anyone caught smoking in enclosed public spaces will now have to pay a 30 euro ($40) fine and as much as 100,000 euros ($134,000) after being caught three times.
Spain’s reign as the last Western European haven for smokers ended Sunday as a new law came into effect banning smoking in enclosed public places.
Those caught smoking indoors or even in some open spaces like playgrounds will now have to pay a 30 euro ($40) fine and as much as 100,000 euros ($134,000) after being caught three times. Restaurant and bar owners failing to impose the new law will pay between 60 euros ($80) and 100,000 euros for each violation.
Many Spaniards are happy about the change, given the country's reputation for smoke-filled tapas bars.
“Finally we can eat,” says Patricia Vargas, a photographer and former smoker.
Smokers and bar and restaurant owners, however, are crying foul.