Smoke-free beaches in Spain

This week WHO is launching a campaign #No Tobacco.
WHO published this year’s World No Tobacco Day exposes how tobacco is poisoning the planet as well as people.
In Spain, a strong movement is paving the way for the prohibition of cigarette smoking on beaches. The motives are not just health-related, but also environmental. Long after a cigarette is extinguished, it continues to harm the environment in the form of non-biodegradable cigarette butts, millions of kilos of which are thrown each year.
According the statistics in Spain almost every fifth adult and teenager smokes – 18 percent of adults smoked tobacco in 2020 and 21 percent of adolescents aged 15–16 smoked cigarettes in 2019 – tobacco use has a significant health, economic, and environmental effect.
Spain is one of just a few nations in the WHO European Region that prohibits smoking in all indoor public places, and health activists and policymakers are leading the charge to expand smoke-free zones to outdoor locations, including the country’s beautiful beaches.
The driving force behind this development is a Spanish organisation called, which is made up of individuals from all around Spain fighting for their right to live in a tobacco-free society.
In 2018, launched a petition to lobby for smoke-free beaches across the country.
“We were congratulated on the proposal and told that this campaigning helps the Ministry when it comes to implementing these types of measures, since politicians need social support in order to change the laws,” explains Raquel Fernández Megina, President of “The main message we were given was: Make noise. Help us to help you.” As of March 2022, the petition had more than 331 000 signatures and is still growing.