In April this year Barcelona City Hall banned smoking on all its beaches, with €30 fines since July for anyone breaking the rules. Despite the crackdown, no sanction has so far been handed down for an offence.
Despite this lack of sanction, the councilor for the ecological transition at the town hall, Eloi Badia, today qualified the initiative as a success. He reported that anyone told by authorities not to smoke on the beaches responded respectfully and either put out their cigarette or left the sand.
According to information provided by Badia, and reported by the Spanish daily El País, only 1% of beach users in the Catalan capital smoked on the sand, while some 70% of bathers said they were aware of the ban.
Badia also explained that the city’s beaches have now returned to the number of visitors seen before the pandemic, with nearly five million people using them this year.
This increase, however, also led to more rescues by lifeguards, which rose from 3,883 in 2021 to 5,506 in 2022.
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