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Smokers

anngw

New Member
I found it really interesting to scroll through this section tonight, and the person who mentioned the potential fire hazard of some albergos lead me to wonder: Do people smoke in the public and/or sleeping areas of albergues? I know that Europeans smoke way more than North Americans, and in public places, so maybe yes? The snorers and the bed bugs can be fixed/modified, apparently - thanks everyone for your detailed tips - but smoking is something else.

Hoping to do a first Camino later this year, myself and my husband, aiming for the Primitivo. Are we going to have to deal with people smoking in the albergues? I'm not a Buddhist, but even if I were, I would have to admit my body does not tolerate cigarette smoke.

Does anyone have information on this for me?

Thanks, everyone, for the quality and thoughfulness of your postings.
AnnGW
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
No smoking allowed in the albergues.
Heavy smoking in bars and restaurants. And, don't be too shocked if you see people drop their ash and cigarette butts onto the floor - it is common practise!
 

anngw

New Member
Thanks Sil.
I live in Canada. It's amazing, really, how smoking in public places has become a social no no in North America. It's always a shock to go to Europe and my lungs and nose aren't used to it. Here in British Columbia there is no smoking in bars and restaurants. (That's not necessarily the case in other provinces - I'm not up to date on what the legislation says elsewhere).

Ann
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I think South Africa was one of the first countries to ban smoking in public places. Besides restaurants and sumpermarkets, no smoking in shopping malls, airport and other public buildings. There were phrophesies of doom and gloom for the small bars, cafes and eateries - none of which have come to pass!
Spain did pass a law against smoking in restaurants but it doesn't seem to be enforced.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Yay for smoking bans!!!

There's talk where I live in Canada about extending the ban to outdoor public places such as beaches and parks. Not sure what that enforcement would look like, but I'd be happy with it!

lynne
 
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Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Past OR future Camino
?
lynnejohn said:
There's talk where I live in Canada about extending the ban to outdoor public places such as beaches and parks.

Same talk taking place in the province where I live. In some provinces, it's banned outsite within a certain distance of the buildings. Also, in cars in the presence of minors.

sillydoll said:
Spain did pass a law against smoking in restaurants but it doesn't seem to be enforced.

Here is the law in Spain and the reason why there is still smoking in bars/restaurants:

Spain
As of 1 January 2006 Spanish law bans smoking in offices, shops, schools, hospitals, cultural centres and on public transport, including stations and airports. The law also states that restaurants and bars over 100 m² can designate a smoking area, but that it has to be physically separated and may occupy at most 30% of the total floor space of the establishment. Establishments smaller than 100 sq.m. may choose whether to allow or to prohibit smoking (most have allowed it). Additionally, the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to persons under 18 years of age and limits the places in which tobacco can be sold.

Since Spain is a somewhat decentralised country, a few autonomous communities, such as Madrid, Valencia, La Rioja, and Balearic Islands, have started an official but undeclared boycott of the Law, approved in the Spanish Parliament by unanimity. These communities are also using the courts to even make the law lighter, something impossible as the smoking ban law is a Spanish Basic Law that can't be modified by local or autonomous governments.

A new, stricter law has been already announced by the government, during the Spanish EU-Presidency. Smoking will be banned in every indoor public places, including bars, clubs and restaurants before the end of 2010.

Cough, cough,
Jean-Marc
 

vinotinto

Active Member
I don't smoke cigarettes, but I do relish a cigar from time to time. When I did the Camino back in 2007, I really enjoyed a nice stogie and some wine & coffee after dinner in a bar - it was a great time of relaxation and reflection after a long day's walk. It seemed that everyone around me was also lighting up, or else it was the time of day when I had the general area to myself.

At any rate, no one ever complained - except one time in Paris, after I had finished my trek. My round-trip ticket was in and out of CDG airport, so I took an overnight bus from Santiago to Paris once I'd finished celebrating my Camino completion. I booked a hotel in the Rue Cler area (a Rick Steve's favorite haunt), and I stayed in Paris for a couple of days to decompress and see the sights I'd missed during my first visit there in 2003.

At that time at least some the cafes still had a smoking area, so I tended to favor those establishments. One evening I visited a nice cafe close to my hotel to have an after-dinner coffee and wine. I asked the proprietor if it was OK to smoke a cigar, and she said it was no problem. So, while waiting for my drinks I started digging in my bag for my smoking kit.

Right at that moment, a young American family walked in with their two children and took a seat in the non-smoking area quite a distance away from me. Even so, I could see them grimace when I pulled out my cigar. Finally, they stomped out of the place, with one of the kids bleating "we're not eating *here*!" at the startled proprietor.

Now, I realize that some people have a thing against smoking due to secondary exposure, and I admit it's not the healthiest activity on the planet. But being nasty towards people who are doing it legally isn't cool. I think there needs to be a place where folks can enjoy a smoke without offending anyone, because I don't believe tobacco is going away anytime soon, and frankly we all medicate in some way to ease life's travails... :arrow:
 

Vigdis

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008/2009, Roncesvalles-Burgos Oct. 2012
Spain got a new smoking law this January, I am sure it will be better for non-smokers.
Those who break this law will have a big chastisement (correct or incorrect word?) of money, so I guess even the Spanish will have to accept it this time. Only smoking outside is allowed, not in bars or restaurants, hotels, airports, offices and so on.
And surely not on albergues, but when did anyone do that? :)
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
vinotinto said:
I don't smoke cigarettes, but I do relish a cigar from time to time.

Right at that moment, a young American family walked in with their two children and took a seat in the non-smoking area quite a distance away from me. Even so, I could see them grimace when I pulled out my cigar. Finally, they stomped out of the place, with one of the kids bleating "we're not eating *here*!" at the startled proprietor.

Now, I realize that some people have a thing against smoking due to secondary exposure, and I admit it's not the healthiest activity on the planet. But being nasty towards people who are doing it legally isn't cool. I think there needs to be a place where folks can enjoy a smoke without offending anyone, because I don't believe tobacco is going away anytime soon, and frankly we all medicate in some way to ease life's travails... :arrow:

Well Vino, you might relish a cigar, and that's fine, but others dont. You could have smoked on the street, but you chose not to.

Those kids were right to complain about your cigar, which, next to a pipe, is so stinky. They didnt want your smoke - why should they? They werent nasty to you - you were nasty to them. Whether you smoked legally or not, you were forcing them to inhale your fumes and fouling up their clothes. Why would you do that?

You may "medicate" yourself, but I wouldnt want your smoke. Smokers always play the victim, when actually they are the irritation to others.

I asked/insisted that people didnt smoke in a refugio kitchen recently - why should I have to do that? Cant such people manage their own behaviour?

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vinotinto

Active Member
Caminando said:
Well Vino, you might relish a cigar, and that's fine, but others dont. You could have smoked on the street, but you chose not to.

Those kids were right to complain about your cigar, which, next to a pipe, is so stinky. They didnt want your smoke - why should they? They werent nasty to you - you were nasty to them. Whether you smoked legally or not, you were forcing them to inhale your fumes and fouling up their clothes. Why would you do that?

You may "medicate" yourself, but I wouldnt want your smoke. Smokers always play the victim, when actually they are the irritation to others.

I asked/insisted that people didnt smoke in a refugio kitchen recently - why should I have to do that? Cant such people manage their own behaviour?

Well, Caminando, remember that I smoked in a legally sanctioned area of the restaurant. The family sat in the non-smoking section quite far from me, but they still managed to have an attack of righteous indignation and insult the restaurant owner by leaving in a huff vs. simply departing with a courteous farewell/objection. Indeed, they didn't even ask me (nicely or otherwise) to put it out, which I would most likely have done simply because they took a higher road to do so.

At that time, it was culturally and legally OK to smoke in the restaurant, so what's the problem? I respected the forms of law and courtesy (not "nasty" as far as I know, especially since I wasn't blowing smoke their way), and the only ones upset were the overly sensitive culturally myopic types who felt that their way was the only way.

As for albergue smoking, I did that once, outside, when the owners actually gave me a nice cigar for that purpose. No one objected to that, either. And when it comes to "stinky" cigars, I don't smoke el cheapos, so that's not a problem (hehe).

All this said, there are always things in the world that don't fit us or irritate our sensibilities. I might be uncomfortable driving on a German autobahn due to the high speeds, but I'm not going to throw a fit just because the Germans aren't doing things my way (and I'm probably much more likely to croak in a car accident than by an occasional stogie). :arrow:
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I would have had to leave out of safety for myself!
Your cigar smoke is extremely toxic and although I think you have the right to smoke if you'd like, I also have the right to breathe clean air, and I hope that trumps your cigars!

What I think makes sense is simply to have a smoking section for those who want to smoke, with good ventilation so it doesn't escape into the non-smoking section. There is nothing as disgusting as trying to eat while someone's smoke is wafting into your face.

Exposure to cigar smoke, along with perfumes, will put me in bed for 4 days with flu-like symptoms. I am the canary in the coal mine... there are very toxic chemicals in both, and people would be smart to take heed.

In the meantime, I have mixed feelings about the no-smoking laws. Like I said, I respect your right to smoke, and think it would have been fine to simply have designated areas...
 
Past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I have been a militant anti-smoker for many years, but I have long adopted the approach that, as long as I didn't have to breathe the fowl putrid fumes (I except the occasional high-quality cigar or balkan sobranie or waterpipe) I had no objection to others smoking. I have found that dividing an area into smoking and no-smoking sections often does not work in many ways, but the practice of smoking on a veranda or terrace seems practical.

I note that, on my first Camino in 2002, I found the smoking level unpleasant in many restaurants and cafés. When I heard that smoking restrictions were coming to Spain, I was aghast that this was even thought of and believed that this would never take hold. However, on successive caminos, I see the restrictions in force and the natural courtesy and grace of Spaniards have begun (note the precise verb form here) to take note of the diminishing acceptability of smoking. Even in restaurants which, ten years ago, were blue with fumes after dinner, it appears to have almost disappeared in 2009.

I have never run into smoking in albergues with the single exception of some annoying pilgrims from Nantes (France) in 2005.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
the smoking ban has taken hold in central Spain, far as I can see.
I had grown accustomed to the fog, and now that it has cleared I can say it is a VAST improvement! No one I have seen was cranky or nasty about it.
Lots more people walking around with cigarettes tucked behind their ears, though -- waiting to seize their opportunity!

Reb
asthmatic, but known to have a puff on a good Dutch stogie now and then.
Long as there´s brandy nearby. 8)
 
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ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Rebekah Scott said:
the smoking ban has taken hold in central Spain, far as I can see.
I had grown accustomed to the fog, and now that it has cleared I can say it is a VAST improvement! No one I have seen was cranky or nasty about it.
Lots more people walking around with cigarettes tucked behind their ears, though -- waiting to seize their opportunity!

Reb
asthmatic, but known to have a puff on a good Dutch stogie now and then.
Long as there´s brandy nearby. 8)
I agree. It is almost like you can not believe that there is no smoke in bars anymore... fantastic! :)

Saludos,
Ivar
 

vinotinto

Active Member
Anniesantiago said:
What I think makes sense is simply to have a smoking section for those who want to smoke, with good ventilation so it doesn't escape into the non-smoking section.

That's all I'm asking for - a place where us cigar aficionadoes can congregate in peace while the clean air types enjoy the other 99% of the Camino. Heck, even Portland, Oregon has a couple of stogie bars still in existence (Greater Trumps in Hawthorne being my favorite), and folks don't seem to mind.

Unfortunately, Washington state got rid of just about all of theirs, which is a bummer. I'm glad I have my own house where I can smoke in peace...at least for now. :arrow:
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
On my Camino this past year I hardly noticed the smoking. Only this thread got me to try and recollect any memories of smokers. We walked for two weeks with a family of three from near Bilbao; the father smoked heavily. He never once brought it near us, the albergue or even close to the inside of a bar or outside cafe. In fact he was so considerate, that he missed much of the World Cup matches, standing outside looking in at the tv screen. And that is something for a Spaniard!!

I used to smoke; I actually really took it up when I was living in France. I figured I was inhaling so much of it anyways I may as well join in. SInce I've been back in the states (many years) I have grown to really detest it. The smell on my clothes,( perhaps on others clothes or breath) or in my hair when I return from being in a smoky environment sickens me. But it never bothers me to have people smoking in a designated area. And I've NEVER tired of cigar smoke! In fact, if I catch a whiff of it, I try to suss out the source and stand near it. I'll talk to a total stogie-toking stranger just for that delight. Vinotinto: you can always sit next to, our upwind from me!!
 

vinotinto

Active Member
Nandy61 said:
Vinotinto: you can always sit next to, our upwind from me!!

The first shot of orujo's on me! :wink: I just saw a funny and topical episode of South Park that should be required viewing for all who post/lurk on this thread... :mrgreen:
 

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