Spain is the first country in Europe to ban smoking on all of its beaches after the government passed a new law following a public petition.  

From now on, anyone caught lighting up on a beach is set to be hit with a hefty €2000 ($USD 2258) fine. A ban is already in place in Barcelona and the Canary Islands, where smoking on popular tourist beaches is prohibited.

A petition in Spain that led to the smoking ban 

The move comes in a bid to clean up pollution on the country’s 3000 miles of coastline. The new law passed on December 23 followed a petition of 283,000 names demanding action on beach pollution was handed to the Spanish government. Cigarette butts are a hazard on many beaches, as they contain non-biodegradable plastic polymer. The European Environment Agency found cigarette butts among the most common items littering Europe's beaches. As well as contaminating the soil, they are also extremely harmful if swallowed by sea life. Sardinia in Italy and some areas in southern France have already banned smoking on their beaches.

 Los Cristianos in the Canary Islands where smoking is already outlawed on beaches © Salvador Aznar / Shutterstock

Spain's other bans on smoking

In 2020 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, Spain banned smoking in outdoor public spaces where people can't maintain a social distance of at least six feet. Galicia, in northwestern Spain, first introduced a ban on smoking in streets, bars and restaurants and this was adopted by the country’s health minister and brought in nationally.  

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has set a target for Spain to be carbon neutral by 2050. 

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May 16, 2024: We started the day at the Centro Ecuestre Los Caireles.  There we met our hosts Miguel Angel and his brother Jesus, who own and run the farm.  (Miguel Angel wore a black vest.)  The Centro is a horse back riding school.  We shot pics at their farm and then headed to the town of Consuegra.  On the mountain overlooking the town, there is a castle and several windmills.  We shot pics and video of Miguel Angel and Jesus riding around the windmills and the castle.  This area is notable because it is where the fictional Don Quixote rode around in Miguel de Cervantes’ famous novel.  Afterward, we returned back to El Centro where we filmed our hosts riding by grape vineyards and olive groves to the nearby Villafranca de los Caballeros lagoons.
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