British holidaymakers warned as Canary Islands propose strict new smoking rules

Smoking could be banned at outdoor bar and restaurant terraces   (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Smoking could be banned at outdoor bar and restaurant terraces (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Canary Island government is set to tighten its smoking regulations, including a ban on lighting cigarettes in the outdoor terraces of bars and restaurants.

A more radical national smoking bill is due to be discussed at the upcoming Interterritorial Health Council meeting between regional authorities and Spain’s Ministry of Health.

Among the strengthened measures to “protect against passive smoking”, the national bill proposes generic packaging for cigarettes, removing brand logos and prohibiting the sale of single-use vapes that are non-biodegradable.

Sports facilities, bus stop shelters and entrances to schools and healthcare facilities could all become smoke-free spaces under the proposal, according to Canarian Weekly.

The significant rule change would affect the lifestyle of many travellers visiting the summer holiday hotspot that welcomed 5.7 million British arrivals in 2023.

Duty-free and cheaper tobacco prices alone have been known for drawing in UK holidaymakers to weeks in Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.

Additional tightening of restrictions and regulations on the sales and advertising of vapes and electric cigarettes are included in the bid to control tobacco consumption.

Regional authorities say a financial plan for each area would need to be outlined for the measures to be successful.

In January, Rishi Sunak announced a plan to ban disposable vapes in Britain using powers already in place under the Environmental Protection Act – which is expected to come into force at the end of 2024 or the start of 2025.

As part of the ban, trading standards officers across the UK will be given powers to act “on the spot” to tackle underage tobacco and vape sales.

Canaries authorities suggest that introducing the new smoking law could implement the proposed regulations throughout Spain if they are agreed to by the government.

The rule change comes as anti-tourism sentiment is growing in the Spanish archipelagos due to strains on local infrastructures to meet tourism demands.

Drunken revellers could also be banned from Spanish party islands under new plans being considered by local officials to crack down on anti-social behaviour by tourists.

Tourists who break strict rules could be blacklisted from notorious party hotspots in the Balearic Islands, such as Magaluf in Majorca and the West End of San Antonio in Ibiza.