What to take in consideration when vaping or smoking in Spain after the ban?

Tourists travelling to Spain might be interested to know about the smoking ban in Spain which came into operation in 2011 and the vaping normative. We know Spain so far as a quite permissive country; however the new smoking ban is one of the toughest in Europe.

This highly controversial action continues to raise heated discussions among non-smokers and smokers. There was resistance from the Hotel sector, restaurants and bars which alleged a  loss of customers.

smoking not allowed in Spain public spaces

Spain has become one of the countries with the toughest anti-tobacco laws. In addition to the law that avoids smoking in public spaces, taxes on cigarettes continue to rise every year.

So can you smoke in Spain?

Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public spaces such as bars, restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, airports and outdoor spaces such as playgrounds, schools and hospital grounds. The hotels are equipped to book 30% of their rooms for smokers.

On the terraces is allowed smoking in Spain. The Costa del Sol has a great advantage, as the mild climate all year round allows you to enjoy a drink on a terrace without being cold.

Smoking tourism in Spain or not?

Smoking is now banned from closed public spaces such as bars, restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, airports and outdoor spaces like children playgrounds, school and hospital grounds. Hotels are enabled to reserve 30% of their rooms for smokers.

According to an international survey by a flight search engine, 45% of smoking tourists would be less willing to travel to Spain for holidays, meanwhile a 61% of non smokers stated that they would be more likely to choose Spain for their holidays and to be comfortable in bars and restaurants without being bothered by the smoke.

Furthermore, 38% of smoking tourists informed that the new law would not influence their decision to travel to Spain, although they would have to accept not being able to smoke indoors. The terraces equipped to smoke can be a good solution for them. And another 13% of respondents, smokers and nonsmokers, responded that the new law does not bother them and, of course, will not affect their decision to travel to Spain.

Smoking in discos, bars or restaurants

At present, smoking is not allowed in enclosed public spaces. This includes discos, bars and restaurants.

Many smokers choose to sit on the terrace of the bar or restaurant to be able to smoke before and after meals or to have a drink.

In the discotheques it is more complicated now if you are a smoker; you will have to go out for smoking. Before the ban, going to a discotheque meant returning home with the smell of tobacco permeating clothes and hair, so both smokers and non-smokers benefit from the new situation.

Smoking at Malaga airport?

Although many airports have smoking areas, this is not the case at Malaga airport. Once you’ve passed the security checkpoint, say goodbye to your cigarettes.

Many smokers choose to stay as long as possible outside the airport before passing through security checkpoint. If you are one of them, be careful not to miss the flight; the security check is usually quick, but in high season it may take longer than desired to get through.

Smoking on the beach in Spain

smoking on the beach

Some regions in Spain are banning smoking on the beach, in the case of Andalusia so far and in the absence of other news, it is allowed.


Looking back: Before the ban

It’s been a few years since the law was passed in 2011 banning smoking in public spaces. How has the smoking ban affected Spaniards and tourists?

The truth is that not much difference has been perceived. Respectful smokers always avoid smoking next to non-smokers whom they might disturb; this law is a good way out to avoid uncomfortable situations with non-respectful smokers.

Let us remember that not too many years ago it was even possible to smoke on a plane. I have travelled on long international flights where people could smoke at their seats while impulsively consuming alcohol; today I wonder how it was possible, I remember it as if it was a dream or an image from a movie.

From my point of view it is one more motivation to give up the terrible habit of smoking. But no matter how much they prohibit smoking, smokers end up quitting when they really want to.

What do you think about this controversial law?

Vaping in Spain

Vaping in Spain

Vaping is trendy and many smokers are turning to vaping to quit smoking. Today we wondered about the regulation of vaping in Spain.

If you are a vaper, you should know that you can buy everything from liquids to single-use vapes at tobacconists, e-liquids shops and some petrol stations.

More and more people can be seen vaping outside in public, but – what does the law say about it?

Electronic cigarette

First of all, we must know what the electronic cigarette consists of according to the law. It is a device with a battery, capable of heating a liquid to transform it into vapour that can be inhaled.

The liquid may or may not contain nicotine, and is subject to regulations for use. Despite this, the use of e-cigarettes in Spain is much more permissive than that of tobacco.


With regard to smoking liquids, the maximum amount of nicotine they may contain is 20 mg per millilitre; if they do contain nicotine, the maximum container size is 10 ml. There is no restriction on the size of containers for non-nicotine liquids.

The use of stimulant substances in smoking fluids is also prohibited.

Vaping law in Spain

When it comes to the law on vaping in Spain, there is one important condition to consider; does the liquid contain nicotine or not?

The regulations prohibit the use of vaping in certain public places as long as the liquid used contains some percentage of nicotine.

Transfers from the airport

Therefore, if you vape with nicotine, you cannot vape in the following places:

  • Training centres and access to the same, although you may vape outdoors.
  • Public administration offices.
  • Health centres or health services.
  • Inside public transport, whether buses or trains.
  • In the case of sea or air transport, you should check the regulations of each company, although it is not permitted inside the airport.
  • Children’s playgrounds or play areas.

The fine can be from 100 euros or more.

Where to vape in Spain

The law does not specify places or enclosed spaces that are not public places where smoking is not allowed. When in doubt, it is always best to ask, although we recommend avoiding vaping where you can disturb those around you.

  • In private establishments there is an obligation to inform whether or not it is possible to vape. If there is no such notice, it is understood that you can vape with or without nicotine without any problem.
  • In restaurants, if you want to vape, it is best to do so on the terrace, although there is no law that expressly prohibits it.
  • In nightclubs it is common to see people vaping inside, regardless of whether or not the liquid may contain nicotine. It will ultimately depend on the company, so it is advisable to ask.
  • At the beach there is no ban on vaping, so you can do it without any problems.

Vaping is prohibited inside public spaces, whether in institutions or on public transport. If it is a private space, it will depend on the policy of the company.

Regarding open spaces, there is no prohibition except for entrances to schools, hospitals or children’s playgrounds.

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Published by

Raúl G.T

Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.

39 thoughts on “What to take in consideration when vaping or smoking in Spain after the ban?”

  1. I rented a holiday let with a nice terrace I do not smoke and hate it iI could not use the terrace outside as the next door neighbour smoked from early in the morning to late at night he never hardly left the front terrace if I opened the front door to let air in all I got was his stink I will never holiday in a private holiday let in Spain again. The whole house smelt of his passive smoking As they are so close together.

  2. Until the real sources of air pollution are handled,this won’t solve absolutely nothing.Except the “smell of tobacco” in your clothes.

    1. After reading that you intend not holidaying in Spain I was so pleased. The idea of being contaminated with someone else’s smoke is anathema to me. My opinion is that all smokers should be locked into a room until they have finished their disgusting habit (that includes Vapers) then everyone would be able to tell a smoker by their deathly pallor and their obnoxious stink.

  3. Yet again, us pipe smokers have been lumped in with the ciggies brigade. Was going to book a fortnight in Benidorm with the wife but then I read that whole of Valencia has a region wide ban on smoking, even on the out door terraces outside bars. Kind of ruins the enjoyment of a pipe and pint.
    Pipe smokers don’t drop fag butt’s. And while the WHO is fear mongering there agenda with the passive smoking nonsense, they are blatantly ignoring the American Surgeon General’s report on tobacco use, that ultimately lead to the wide spread government warnings now on all tobacco products.
    The outcome of that report, again lumped ALL tobacco users together. Snuff, chewing tobacco, cigars, hand rolling tobacco, cigarettes and pipe smokers. Then declared smoking tobacco was bad. Yet in the actual report, it was stated that ‘Pipe smokers that inhale, live just as long as nonsmokers. And that Pipe smokers that don’t inhale, live LONGER than nonsmokers. Kind of puts the whole passive smoking myth in it’s place, don’t you think?
    Once I discovered the extent of the ban in the Valencia region, I started looking further afield, up to Lloret de mar. But sadly, they seem to have gone the same way. It would totally ruin the enjoyment of a holiday away, if I couldn’t support and puff at the same time on a table outside of a bar. I know, I know, I could leave my beer to get nicked or worst, go flat, as i cross the road to semi enjoy an half hour bowl, with nothing to wet the whistle. Or I could leave the wife guarding the pint and open to proposition. Anyway, none of these options is acceptable. So here’s another 3 to 5 grand not going to Spanish hotels and businesses this summer.

    1. Thank you for commenting! In Malaga and Andalucia, you can smoke on the terraces outside bars. In case you still want your holidays in Spain.

    2. You fail to mention the disgusting stink and your anti-social and rude and nobody likes you

  4. Smoking is addiction. Like all addictions, t makes you not care about others. . If they have normal body reactions to smoke, they are “nazis” restricting your precious rights.

  5. regulation is the only way. smokers absolutely do not get it. I used to. the whining about how they have to go somewhere- wherever a lit cigarette is, it’s also 50 meters away if the wind is going that way. Into someone’s window, up some child’s nose. Smokers don’t gve a f+++ On the beach, it’s the worst.

  6. I am a smoker, I enjoy smoking & I make no apologies for it. ALL my family are non smokers & I am very respectful when in their presence or their homes. Spain is my favourite holiday destination & I have visited twice a year ( 3 times if I can afford it ) for 30 years. I booked a holiday for January 2023 as usual in a very large, very expensive hotel. No mention of changes to NON Smoking in public areas in hotel. After booking & reading reviews, learnt smoking only allowed in apartment balcony. Had I known I would NOT USE THAT HOTEL. Sadly, this will be my LAST HOLIDAY IN SPAIN. I go on holiday for a STRESS FREE BREAK, not to be worried about possibly unknowingly breaking the law & being fined for it.

  7. I am travelling to loret de mar for the first time in 50 years, & use an electronic cigarette. Are there any restrictions to use my ecig.

    1. Hello Michael and welcome..
      I would use it like you would do with a normal cigarette, this way you will avoid any problem.

  8. As a smoker, I can say that smoking offers zero benefit, only 100% awfulness! Besides being stinky and pernicious, it’s offensive to a majority of people who don’t smoke. There’s also the fact that cigarettes create a huge mess with butts, cartons, plastic wrappers, etc. Also, people flick their lit butts out of their moving cars causing fires, especially in forest areas. It’s an all-around horrible vice!
    However, instead of these bans or *special areas to smoke, they should ban smoking altogether, but allow vaping instead. Vaping is not noxious and doesn’t really stick to your clothes/hair like cigarettes. It doesn’t have any wrappers or butts to foul up a park or beach, etc. Plus, it satisfies the oral fixation and billowing cloud *need for the smoker.
    All of this said, I’d bet ANYTHING that folks who’re against cigarette smoking are also PRO marijuana smoking! It’s the zenith of hypocrisy! Marijuana is even more dangerous than smoking–and I’m not saying this as a prude, but as a parent whose child is completely addicted to it! So, if we’re going to “ban” vices, let’s ban vices!

    1. I agree with you, vaping is less dangerous also for areas where a lit butt could cause a fire.
      On marijuana, I suppose it is politically correct to be in favour or neutral; even when it causes addiction and alters the senses.
      In Spain the government want to control the selling of vaping and all nicotine products, let’s see how it will affect the prices; people do not want to spend the same or more when quitting smoking.

      1. I can see how smoking affects some people, but there are much more harmful things that people are breathing in, car fumes for one. If smoking was banned, cigarette & vape oil manufacturers would go out of business, thousands would lose their jobs & the governments would lose the tax. It seems that the whole world has gone power crazy, as we have had this problem for many years, & no one said anything until the last 15 years or so. I certainly wish to stop smoking, but not quite ready. I used to smoke 80 ordinary cigarettes a day, but 6 years ago, I changed to using my ecig. I have never looked back. am healthier, Can taste & smell much better as I only use oil & no nicotine. There are much bigger problems in the world to deal with instead of picking on the chosen few who have this as their only pleasure. I do not drink alcohol, nor do I drive. I need some pleasure in my life, as do other smokers.

  9. I am living in Madrid Centro. There is a bar opposite my apartment which in on quiet side street. Does anyone know the law regarding smokers coming out of the bar and into the street for a cigarette and being very loud? This is happening until 1:00AM and sometimes later. They seem to have no awareness of how loud they are talking and laughing or that people close by might be being disturbed. How should I handle this issue?

    1. Hello Karl, I would call the police trying to catch them, but it sounds like a complicated situation. Let’s hear what they recommend you.

  10. Is it me, or is there a distinct impression that smokers are bad people altogether! Add to that, rude, of lesser intelligence and generally all round lower humans?! Nothing worse than being sat next to a drunk either, but I suppose that’s a more acceptable vice. I enjoy a cigarette and im not an idiot.

  11. Never mind the smoking, we are overrun with yapping ill trained animals allowed to wander around in restaurants and be a pest to all and sundry. Not everyone is a dog lover, some of us have relationships with people.

  12. But it’s OK that smokers have to stand outside in bad weather? That’s fair? Maybe there could be a reasonable compromise with both indoor and outdoor areas for both smokers and nonsmokers?

    1. No one has to stand outside in bad weather. You could simply choose not to smoke. While in principle I would support areas for both, in proportion to the smoking population (which is 25% in Spain at the moment) the issue is that smoke drifts so while you may be sitting in a supposedly non smoking area you still get the stink.
      What particularly annoys me is being seen as ‘difficult’ if I do not wish to be seated next to smokers, or move away. Or when the person at the next table holds their lighted cigarette behind them so as not to inconvenience their friends at the same table but its right next to me on the next table.
      The simple problem with your nasty habit is that there is no way for you to keep it to yourself.

      1. I absolutely agree with you Margaret…some smokers don’t like to disturb surrounding people but others do not care.
        Thank you for sharing your comment!

      2. And when you get up from that table,you go out and sit in your car or in the bus..yeah,I know,there are electrical vehicles,but electricity doesn’t fall from heaven,it’s mostly made from the far worse polutants than cigarettes..and those polutants kill everyone,not just you sitting next to a smoker in a bar.
        In fact,you used electricity to write that post.
        So,before you go to clean your neighbours back yard,clean yours first.

  13. I paid €10 for the privilege of using a sun bed and parasol on the beach in Calpe, only for a German on next door sun bed and parasol to light up a very pungent 8 inch cigar which lasted about a hour for him to sleep and puff sleep and puff! He did this 4 times from 10am-5.00pm The only option I had was to move two rows down away from my friends. He knew what he was doing, is that legal? It’s yet another way pf covert bullying!

    1. Im afraid it is legal as he was smoking in open area. Did you tell him you were bothered by the smoke? Maybe he could have moved away instead of you, that would be more fair.

    2. I know you posted this two years ago but I’ve just seen it. The issue I think with many smokers is they simply cannot accept how nasty their smoke is for non-smokers. My husband is actually allergic to it probably brought on by passive smoking through his job when young.
      We had a friend who would throw a tantrum if anyone moved their chair to be out of her smoke.
      The very worst situation I saw was a smoker seated with friends in the non smoking area. He lit up and when the waiter approached him he said that he only wanted one cigarette and din’t want to be surrounded by smokers when he was eating. Selfish or what?
      Its nasty, it stinks and, in all honesty, smokers stink too when they come back inside after their ‘fix’ outside.

      1. These stories sound fake, or at least not representative of the vast majority of smokers.

  14. Now you cannot sit on a terrace and enjoy a drink or meal as the smokers congregate there en masse, so non-smokers must sit inside. On a summers evening it is just not fair.

    1. Now you know how we smokers feel when the weather outside is less than fine and we are obliged by stupid politicians to go outside.

  15. I am very glad to hear about this strong smoking ban. As a non-smoker, I am MORE likely to go to Spain. Will probably be booking a trip shortly and very likely heading for Costa del Sol at the end of the trip. I do not enjoy breathing in other peoples’ disgusting toxic fumes. I am very very glad to hear this and it makes me MORE likely to go to Spain than to another country that might be more lax in its regulations. No one should be subjected to cigarette smoke (be it first, second, or third-hand smoke) in public places or in their hotel rooms or rental cars.

    1. Don’t be fooled by supposed tough smoking laws. No one takes any notice. Just because you are sitting in a outdoor restaurant the persons on the next table will light up.
      It seems 75% smoke

      1. i go to spain twice a year this will be my last holiday to spain why would i when i can spoke outside anywhere in Ireland its not cheap in june im paying all that money and cant smoke outside

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