READING about the new Spanish blanket ban on smoking in enclosed public places got me thinking. It would have been so much easier for me to give up smoking last year if the ban had already been firmly in place.

Now, I’m not going to get into the rights and wrongs of the ban – it’s proved contentious enough already with plenty of Olive Press readers driven to comment on the news articles. I’m looking at this from a purely selfish angle as someone who has been an ex-smoker for just over one year.

The first Spanish attempt to ban smoking in 2006 didn’t really help. Certainly where I live, the ban started well and amid much excitement (and confusion), but sort of fizzled out after the first few weeks. Most bars and restaurants used the confusion to their advantage and found ways around enforcement. At the time, the only part of the ban that affected me as a smoker was that I couldn’t enjoy a crafty smoke prior to flying out of Malaga airport. And on arrival? I had to wait until I was “outside the terminal building”. What happened to the celebratory landing fag by the baggage carousel, usually inhaled under the totally ignored “no smoking” sign?

But now, if I was still smoking, I would have to find myself incarcerated in a prison or psychiatric unit to smoke in an indoor designated area. And I could risk getting into trouble by lighting up in some outdoor spaces. A bit like the time I nearly fell onto the tracks while standing on an outdoor train platform in London, when a guard came to tell me that smoking was prohibited within the station. My futile arguments that I was plainly outside and in the “fresh” air fell on deaf ears.

As I said, I’m now a self righteous ex-smoker – the worst kind. My subsequent addictions to small mints that rattle in a plastic box, and wine gums that make my tongue go numb are not frowned upon by passersby, and nobody is forced to passively experience my sugar fix.

There are days when all I want is a cigarette, especially when I’m sitting with a smoking friend in a coffee shop. With the smoking ban, that won’t be a problem anymore (unless we’re sat on a terrace) and I won’t be tempted to sidle up behind said friend and sneak a puff when no-one’s looking. Instead, she or he will be loitering somewhere outside when the craving hits and I’ll be sat within, talking to myself and looking like Norma No Mates.

And I won’t miss the eau de fagash that used to follow me around, lingering on my clothes and in my hair. These days, when a smoker comes into the office, I thank heavens that I don’t smell like that anymore.

But the man who smokes cigars right outside my office door will probably still get to hang around and blow his foul smelling acrid smoke into my personal space. He’ll presumably be joined by others who find that there’s nowhere else that they can go and smoke. I’ll send them down to the restaurant in Guadalmina that’s decided to actively defy the ban. At least they’ll get a welcome reception there.

And in the meantime, I will carry on with my petition to the European powers that be, asking them to ban the sweets that have become my mainstay since I gave up the smokes. At least the ciggies didn’t stick to my hips.

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  1. This is all about control and the WHO forcing us to be healthy.
    What’s next after smoking restrictions? In the UK, Alcohol Concern are forcing restrictions to drinking and there are also those who want to restrict fast foods.

  2. Charles it doesn’t work.

    It would be like a smokers apartheid. where smokers and non-smokers go to different places and don’t socialise? Some of my friends are smokers, so I shouldn’t go out to the same bars? These friends seem quite accepting of having to go outside to smoke or if the weather is fine we all sit outside.

    Also we have one local bar in our rural community, that is in walking distance. Should it be smoking or non-smoking? The owners who are both smokers, say they are happy with the restrictions as it means they are not breathing SHS all day!…. and they are smokers. The bar is just as busy as it always was, just less smoky and more welcoming for us non-smokers.

  3. Bob. In that case why not have separate bars, like in the old days? Everybody were happy then.
    Since the smoking ban in the UK thousands of pubs have closed, making tens of thousands of staff unemployed. If the smoking ban is that popular why haven’t non-smokers flooded the pubs to replace the smokers that left?

  4. As for Pubs in the UK, they are closing because of increased rents; competition from pub chains who undercut them on price; failure to change with the times… 95% of pubs that close do not serve food; lack of investment; poor locations; high tax on alcohol; and bad management…. to name just a few.

    Successful pubs and bars are busier than ever and full of people not smoking. Poorly run pubs and bars close down. Just like ANY other business.

    Smoking ban is here to stay stop bleating about it and get used to it.

  5. guirizano. So do you withdrw your comment ‘thousands of pubs closed in the UK before the smoking ban’?
    Did you know that the real cost of a pint in a pub is no more expensive than ageneration ago? Not only does duty and VAT increase, but wages also increase.
    I went to a few pubs in Brussels last year (before their smoking ban) and even though the cost of a pint was about £5, their pubs were not suffering.

  6. The anti-smokers are guilty of flagrant scientific fraud for ignoring more than 50 studies, which show that human papillomaviruses cause at least a quarter of non-small cell lung cancers. Smokers and passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus, for socioeconomic reasons. And the anti-smokers’ studies are all based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires, so they’re cynically DESIGNED to blame tobacco for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV. And those criminals commit the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on tobacco.

    For the government to commit fraud to deprive us of our liberties is automatically a violation of our Constitutional rights to the equal protection of the laws, just as much as if the government purposely threw innocent people in prison. And for the government to spread lies about phony smoking dangers is terrorism, no different from calling in phony bomb threats.

    This garbage has nothing to do with health. It’s a war of cultural genocide by fanatical cultists to ram a compulsory state religion, foundied on Nazi pseudo-science, down everyone’s throats.

  7. @Charles

    “So do you withdrw your comment ‘thousands of pubs closed in the UK before the smoking ban’?”

    Erm, no, not until you stop implying that pubs close only because of the smoking ban…


    Care to show us your evidence for your assertion re HPV and lung cancers? I bet it’s a little fart in comparison to the thunderstorm of evidence which directly implicates tobacco smoke in a range of diseases. On top of this, you still don’t seem to get it into your nicotine addled brain that most people do not like tobacco smoke and do not want to breathe it in enclosed places open to the general public. It’s antisocial in the extreme to light up inside when there are other people about. You and your pro-tobacco lobby friends just don’t get that do you?

  8. guirizano – their software stripped my links out.
    smokershistory dot com hpvlungc.htm

    Your so-called “thunderstorm of evidence” is all deliberate, systematic lies, orchestrated by the oligarchs at Harvard.

    smokershistory dot com SGlies.html
    smokershistory dot com SGHDlies.html

  9. Ositos de Oro, or Gummy Bears is what you want. Giving up smoking is so hard but these sweeties really help. Take your mind off fagging it for ages. Only problem is they take out your fillings, however for a fraction of the price UK dentists charge you can get white fillings here, ta da….

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