Smokers stubbed out their cigarettes in tapas bars and restaurants across Spain on Jan. 2 as one of Europe’s strictest anti-tobacco laws came into effect.
The new law banning smoking in all bars, cafes, restaurants and public places -- even some outdoor areas – was imposed at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1.
It was a shock for many Spaniards for whom the cafe culture -- lighting up with a few friends while enjoying a drink and tapas -- has been an essential part of daily life.
PHOTO: REUTERS 照片：路透
Establishments overnight began displaying notices on their doors and windows such as “Smoke-Free Area. No Smoking.”
In Madrid’s historic center, bars and restaurants were packed for breakfast and for lunch on Jan. 2 despite the new rule. At the dozen or so visited by AFP, no customers were smoking.
In cold but sunny weather, cafes with outdoor terraces, where smoking is permitted, were doing brisk business.
At the Txacolina bar, it was elbow-room only as dozens of customers, many with children, munched Spanish appetizers and downed beer, wine and vermouth, a traditional Sunday lunchtime drink.
“We have a lot of customers today, but it’s only the first day and we have to see what will happen,” said the duty manager, Pedro Ayllon. “But I don’t think (the new law) will hurt us.”
Himself a non-smoker, he welcomed the new law after seven years working in smoke-filled bar.
At the nearby Taberna del Capitan Alatriste restaurant, manager Antonio Pino said lunch reservations were normal for a Sunday.
“It’s a fair law as it’s the same for everyone, so there will be less problems,” he said.
Spain has had an anti-smoking law since January 2006 but the impact was barely noticeable.
It banned smoking in the workplace, on public transport and in shops. But it allowed owners of bars, restaurants and cafes to decide whether to ban smoking or not. Most, faced with a drop in business, naturally chose to permit their customers to light up.
The new law bans smoking in all enclosed public spaces, including bars, restaurants and nightclubs, and makes it illegal to smoke in children’s parks or anywhere on school or hospital grounds.
附近的一家Taberna del Capitan Alatriste餐廳經理安東尼歐‧皮諾說，預約午餐的顧客人數跟其他週日人數不相上下。
1. stub out v. phr.
熄滅 (xi2 mie4)
例: Please stub out cigarettes before you enter the building.
2. munch v.
例: I like to munch celery and carrots.
3. noticeable adj.
顯著的 (xian3 chu4 de5)
例: There is a noticeable improvement in his handwriting.
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