This could be bad news for the owners of the tabacs. | EFE

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Such notices are directed at tourists (they are typically in English) and are designed to prevent the frustrations of those of us who have only gone in to buy a newspaper and have to queue for an eternity while the shelves are stripped bare.

What percentage of the tourist spending statistics we are fed each month is represented by tobacco sales? I have on occasion been astonished at how much is handed over - getting on for a thousand euros. The most recent monthly spending figures for foreign tourists quoted an average of 107 euros a day and 1,216 per stay.

Spanish government tobacco legislation is scheduled to come into effect from the end of next year, and there’s a good deal of tobacco pricing wriggle room in Spain - half the price of most European countries. So, from from the start of 2024, the queues in the tabacs may end; it depends on price increases, one supposes.

This could be bad news for the owners of the tabacs, while one can already hear the cries of holidaymakers saying they’ll abandon Mallorca if prices are not that much different from what they are back home. Well, there’ll also be bans on smoking on terraces and on beaches. Spanish law plans these as well (the Balearics already have a Covid-inspired terrace ban). And why? Why do you think? People’s health.