Spanish Culture and News

Smoking in Banks

Metro Madrid has just announced an 80% drop in smoking-related complaints, with 411 people fined for smoking underground since the beginning of a clampdown this time last year. Gone are the days when you would step onto a platform to find smokers puffing away whilst chatting casually to the very security guards that were meant to be fining them.

Soon it’s to be the turn of civil servants and bankers. There is nothing worse than dropping into the local branch of your bank, to find the teller drawing hard on a high-tar Ducados on the other side of the desk. Or going to ‘hacienda’ to sort out your tax declaration, only to spend ten minutes with an extremely unhealthy sounding woman who breathes smoke at you for the duration of the interview.

Yet at last Spain is due to catch up with the rest of the anti-smoking world on January 1st, when smoking is finally banned in the workplace. An air of ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ hangs over the city, but if Metro Madrid can pull it off, then I for one am optimistic. Stay tuned for an update next month, I think I’ll be saving all my banking chores until then…