Non-Smoker Friendly

Old Feb 15th, 2004, 09:30 PM
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Non-Smoker Friendly

I have heard that many peopel in SPain smoke. For anyone who has been there and who is a non smoker was this a problem for you? What lodging or dining places do you know of that have non smoking sections? LMK Thanks
bewareofdog is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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We have been to Europe many times and every time, forget, how much people there smoke.

Fortunately, we live in California, one of the states that does not allow smoking inside resaturants and bars but I think it just makes it more difficult and the shock more dramatic when you get there.

It is something which you'll adjust to quickly when you focus on taking in the sights.

We once went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Madrid, asked if they had a non-smoking section. They told us we'd have to wait 20 minutes so we said fine. After the wait, they walked us to our "non-smoking" table which was surrounded by smoking tables.

I think, unfortunately, it's a never ending battle.

Please enjoy Spain anyway!
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Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Cindymac's reply reminds me of our recent Christmas trip to Copenhagen. We asked for a non-smoking table at the Hard Rock Cafe. The waiter took us to a table and removed the ash tray.
Boots is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:54 AM
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Not sure where you plan to visit, but we have a reservation for a hotel in Bilbao that has a non-smoking floor. Of course you are not guaranteed a NS room until check in, but its a start. Its the Hotel Petit Palace Arana. Good luck!
Anika is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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Yes, people in Spain smoke. Don't expect many non smoking sections to exist yet.
I would not let it be a problem for me, as being in Spain was far more important to me then letting the "smoking" prevent me from enjoying my trip. I have seen changes over the past few years in Europe regarding the amount of people who no longer smoke, however it is still accepted far more then in the States. Don't let it spoil your trip.
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Old Feb 16th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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I haven't been to Spain in more than 30 years, so obviously I can't answer your specific question. However, smoking bothers me a lot, and if I were exposed to it more than a little, it COULD spoil my trip, because I'd get bad headaches, and, though I don't get many colds, generally, I tend to get colds after a period when I've been around smoke a lot. (Maybe something in the smoke keeps my otherwise strong immune system busy, so it can't do its usual job of fighting germs.) For me, the best way to prevent smoke from ruining a trip is to avoid smoky restaurants. If there are no smoke-free restaurants, or none with no-smoking sections that really are relatively smoke free, what that means is eating outdoors whever possible, even if the weather is not pleasant. It's a trade-off. I'd much rather eat outside even when the wind is too cold or the sun is too hot than be stuck indoors with smoke. If that's not possible, another alternative is to buy food at markets and fruit stores and bakeries and eat small meals picnic-style. You also save money and time that way, and shopping for the foods can be fun. (And, as an added satisfaction, you are not economically supporting restaurants that cater to smokers at the expense of those who are sensitive to smoke.)

cmt is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2004, 10:21 AM
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There's a web site for smoke-free restaurants and other spots in France; I wonder whether there's one for Spain?
Underhill is online now  
Old Feb 16th, 2004, 12:43 PM
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Oh heck, after you breathe the vespa polluted air a good whiff of cigarette smoke inside won't bother you at all.
Enjoy your trip. Spain is a wonderful place.
mcgeezer is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2004, 06:31 PM
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Unfortunately, the Spanairds smoke like chimneys (chimineas!!) and they have the highest rate of smokers in all of Europe. My husband and I detest smoking but we did acclimate to almost all bars and restaurants being smoke-filled in Spain. In addition, the Spanairds seem to keep everything so closed up, at least compared to the US where it seems everything is ventilated so thoroughly. Meaning we found so many Spanish restaurants so overheated even in mild weather when here in the US windows and doors would be open for the breeze in Spain places were sealed like tombs.

But we love Spain to much to keep any of it from preventing us from enjoying our time.

Maria is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2004, 07:03 PM
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It's an unfortunate fact that you will find a LOT of smoking in Europe. A WHOLE lot.

The thing I really don't like is when a restaurant/pub/cafe, etc, has the smoking section in FRONT, so that the non smoking patrons have to walk THROUGH the smoking section, to get to the non smoking section!

Another thing.....if you ask for a non-smoking room when you book your hotel or B&B, even if they say "No Problem, we'll put you in a non smoking room", the room often REEKS of smoke, because when they are short on rooms the hotels often give the non smoking rooms to smokers.
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Old Feb 18th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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Hi bewareofdog -- LOVE your screen name! I was last in Spain in 1998 and recall being bothered by smoke in only one bar in Seville. BUT, the worst smoke/lack of ventilation I've ever experienced in my life was at the stadium in Jerez where the horses perform. It was so bad that I couldn't enjoy the show and I couldn't wait to get out of there to breathe! That said, Spain is fantastic and I'd go back in a minute! Have a great trip!
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Old Feb 19th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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I check this site before travelling to Europe and find it reliable:

We just got home from Paris and noticed that a lot more restaurants asked if we wanted smoking or non-smoking, so hopefully things are changing (unfortunately since places are usually small it really doesn't always help).

As cmt suggests, we always sit outside if possible, preferably at an end table that way you have a chance of some fresh air--vespas excluded.

Good luck and enjoy,

mvor is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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We were in Spain in 1999 and just had to cope. You don't say what time of year you are traveling, but we try to eat outside whenever possible in all European countries we visit. We visited Jerez and attended the Andalusian Horse performance, which was a highlight of our trip, and I don't remember excess smoke in the stadium. Maybe we were just lucky. Would highly recommend the show, as well as touring a Sherry Bodega.

It's true that in Paris you are sometimes given the choice of smoking or non-smoking, but it was our experience that the tables were usually in the worst sections of the restaurant and adjacent to smoking tables. We preferred, under those circumstances, to site at better tables and put up with the smoke.

We too live in California so are used to smoke free areas almost everywhere you go, but unless smoke causes you severe health problems don't let it ruin your trip. Try for non-smoking rooms, reserve non-smoking cars on trains. We stayed at the Europa in Madrid and Dona Maria in Seville, and neither room smelled of smoke.

Good luck. Spain is a wonderful country and I'm sure you'll enjoy your visit.
Giovanna is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Ireland often follows American policies after a few years.From 29 March 2004 no smoking will be allowed in pubs for example.
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