Smoking is now forbidden in the bars and cafés of Spain. Which has done absolutely nothing to curtail the smoking epidemic in the country. Cigarette packets are plastered with images of blackened lungs, skulls, and my personal favorite, wrinkly face with the title “smoking ages the skin.” But no one cares.
In a given night, I will be asked for “fire” or a lighter about 3 times. Most of these cigarettes will end up thrown into the gutter, onto the street, etc. Which means I constantly have to be on the lookout for nasty old cigarettes that will stick to my boots.
Other experiences include:
When I go running, I have to strategically hold my breath, dodging the clouds of noxious fumes.
One of my Spanish TV shows has the mothers of cancer patients standing around, smoking, while discussing surgeries.
Spaniards will sit on the terrace of a bar, to be able to smoke, even when it´s pouring rain (which seems to happen a lot in Santiago).