Spain, a country that has somehow managed to make lisping sort of sexy, has banned smoking in cafes, restaurants, hospitals, and bars. Smokers are also banned from lighting up near playgrounds or on TV. Dios mio.
The new anti-smoking laws, among the toughest in Europe, have not come without grumbling from bar and restaurant owners, who claim the ban will hurt business. Spanish smokers claim that their rights are being violated. It's amazing to think that such tough laws have been enacted in such a cafe culture-heavy Mediterranean country, especially considering that when I was studying in Greece in 2004, they were still still stopping movies halfway through so everyone can go into the lobby and have a cigarette.
This isn't the first anti-smoking measure in the Iberian peninsula; smoking was banned in Spanish workplaces in 2006, but since, thanks to lingering effects of the global economic collapse, approximately 75% of all Spanish people are currently unemployed and thus the law does not effect them.
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