It’s now an offence to smoke in closed public spaces, and Valencia business owners in the sector are demanding changes in the law to stop their businesses suffering the ‘catastrophic’ effects of the ban. El Mundo reports some 200 protesters at the demonstration.
Another protest is due on February 21 outside of the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.
Juan Carlos Gelabert, of the FEHV Valencia Federation of Hostelry Businesses, has suggested creating separate areas for smokers or allowing smaller businesses to choose if they want to allow smoking on the premises or not. Those were, in fact, two options which were included in Spain’s previous anti-smoking legislation which had been in place since 2006 and was superseded by the new law.
It’s also in Valencia where a platform is coordinated for the tea shops which are against the new legislation. They have found themselves suffering from the ban, as much of their business comes from the hookah pipes they offer to their customers.
In Málaga province, one tea shop owner told El Mundo newspaper that he’s lost 80% of his customers as he can no longer put out the pipes in the bar.
The paper indicates the sector may be considering a petition to be followed by a national demonstration in Madrid.