The New Year Brings a Smoking Ban to Spain
Warning to smokers: Don't light up in public places when traveling through Spain anymore. Yesterday the country enacted a ban on smoking in enclosed public spots, including restaurants and bars. So you won't get a chance to partake in the old smoky tapas bar tradition during your visit.
If you get caught puffing away, it will cost you; a first-time offense carries a $40 fine, and repeat offenders will have to cough up as much as $134,000 after the third strike. However, enclosed spots aren't the only places where where your pack of cigs and lighter are prohibited. You also can get slapped with a fine for smoking in some outdoor areas as well, including playgrounds and near hospitals.
This is a big change for the formerly haze-filled country, which was one of the few last remaining Western European nations to allow smoking in public places. Plus, according to the Christian Science Monitor, government officials estimate that 35 percent of residents above 16 are regular smokers.