A smoke-free beach is one where smoking is banned everywhere, from sand to sea.
Smoking prohibited on beaches
On 22 July, final approval will be granted for the amendment to the by-law on the use of public streets and spaces, declaring the city’s beaches as non-smoking areas and for this purpose establishing a prohibition on the consumption of tobacco and the use of any items which might emit nicotine in these spaces. The amendment comes into force on the day after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Province of Barcelona (BOPB). BOPB [Ca].
This ban is based on environmental protection and the right of citizens to enjoy a clean public space, free of smoke and cigarette butts, as well as on maintaining positive community life and protecting the health of individuals, especially the most vulnerable.
Launched by the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB) and Barcelona Cicle de l’Aigua, SA (BCASA), this initiative began with a pilot test in the summer of 2021 on the beaches of Sant Miquel, El Somorrostro, Nova Icària and Nova Mar Bella which received a satisfaction rating of over 8 out of 10 points.
Smoke-free beaches in Barcelona in 2022
The smoke-free beaches initiative was broadly accepted by city residents during the bathing season in 2022, with 99% of users not smoking on the city’s beaches that summer. In addition, the rate of satisfaction with the initiative was high, with an average of 8 out of 10.
Cigarette butts continue to be found on the city’s beaches. Some 72% of beach users state that they have seen cigarette butts, concentrated mainly along the side promenade and by infrastructures, most probably resulting from people smoking before stepping onto the sands, and others smoking at night on the beaches. Remember that cigarette butts, once properly extinguished, should be disposed of in the grey containers.
Why smoke-free beaches?
To protect the environment
Tobacco consumption is an environmental problem, given that some five billion cigarette butts end up in the sea every year, where they release metal pollutants that cause changes to the biological systems of various marine organisms and, ultimately, human beings, who are at the top of the food chain. Moreover, cigarette butts take a decade to decompose.
Smoke-free beaches in Barcelona
Barcelona is promoting the availability of smoke-free leisure spaces to protect the environment, preserve positive community life and protect people's health by banning smoking on all Barcelona beaches, except in beach bars and promenades.
Remember: cigarette butts, once properly extinguished, are for grey containers.