By Jason Moore
IF the local government is serious about its no-smoking legislation could they ensure that bars and restaurants follow the law?
All the restaurant and bar owners I have spoken to are still non-the-wiser. Some have no-smoking areas while others don't bother at all.
In some cases non-smokers are losing out. I was in one scenic restaurant in Majorca on Sunday, which has beautiful views over the Bay of Palma. Unfortunately, the no-smoking area was in the restaurant and not on the terrace, so those people who smoke could enjoy the marvellous views but those who don't were kept inside. The trouble is that most bars and restaurants believe that if they enforce the law then they will loose plenty of revenue. The Spanish are the biggest smokers in Europe and if they can't smoke then they won't go out to restaurants it's as simple as that. This is an ill-conceived law. The local government is quite rightly cracking down on smokers but before introducing the law they should have made sure that every business realised what the law involved. Perhaps it would have been better if it had been introduced after the summer season because it would have allowed businesses more time to prepare themselves. In Italy, smoking is banned full-stop in all public places.
Perhaps it would have been better if the Balearic government had followed the Italian example. It would have been far easier to enforce.
However, I believe that perhaps the local government didn't want to come down too hard on the hard-pressed bar and restaurant sector which is already facing a drop in takings.


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