IN April of this year, Barcelona City Hall banned smoking from all of its beaches, with €30 fines since July for anyone breaking the rules. Despite the crackdown, however, not a single penalty has so far been issued for an infraction.
Despite this lack of punishment, the councillor for environmental transition in City Hall, Eloi Badia, today called the initiative a success. He reported that anyone told not to smoke on the beaches by the authorities has responded respectfully, and has either put out their cigarette or moved off the sand.
According to information provided by Badia, and reported by Spanish daily El País, just 1% of users of the Catalan capital’s beaches smoked while on the sands, while some 70% of beachgoers said that they were aware of the prohibition.
Badia also explained that the beaches in the city have now returned to the numbers of visitors seen before the pandemic, with nearly five million people making use of them this year.
This rise, however, has also meant more rescues by lifeguards, which have risen from 3,883 in 2021 to 5,506 in 2022.