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Two bars in Mollerussa show resistance to the smoking ban

Two bar owners have publically declared their resistance to the new smoking ban after having lost many clients, they said. So they have decided to let customers smoke again and hope that other bars will do the same.

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11 January 2011 10:12 PM

by

ACN / Oriol Bosch

Mollerussa (ACN) .- Café Viena and Mossadeta Bar in Mollerussa, a town near Lleida, denounced the new smoking ban, which entered into force 10 days ago. The owners said that since the entry into force of the smoking law in public places, they have lost many customers. Jesus Leon from Café Vienna started the initiative and was satisfied on Monday when other bars showed their support to the protest like the Mossedeta bar. According to Leon, since the smoking ban came into force, clientele decreased by 60%. Meanwhile, Sergi from the Mossadeta bar hopes to recover the activity it had before the ban as at the moment his business is not in a good situation. However, they are likely to be fined by health inspectors.


Since last Friday customers of Café Vienna in Mollerussa can smoke on the premises. This is possible because the owner of the bar Jesus Leon decided to launch a personal crusade against the smoking law that the Spanish Government began to apply from 2nd January this year. Leon considers the law 'totally unfair' and even described it as the actions of a 'dictatorship'. He is convinced that, if smoking is banned in bars, he will lose customers and be unable to earn a living.

Leon says that the majority of his customers agree with him that \u201Ca bar is not a church but rather a meeting place where people go to drink, smoke and play cards\u201D. When asked whether he felt smoking was harmful to children, Leon said that minors should go to parks to play and not to bars.

Since late last week, Café Vienna has a sign up on its door saying that smoking is permitted as it is a private place with public access. Owners say the clientele increased by 60% after the first days of entry into force of the law when he implemented the smoking initiative.

Leon says he is not looking for advertising with this initiative but rather seeking a protest among other local industry throughout the country. And it seems to be working as since, the Mossadeta bar, two streets up from Café Vienna decided to violate the law since Monday.

The owner of Mossadeta bar, Sergi, explained that after speaking with Jesus Leon he asked to make some copies of the poster. Once he had already placed some of the posters on the door, he hoped to attract customers that he had lost since the smoking ban came into force. Sergi regrets that he can not cope with the expenses of the business without its customers and has therefore decided to violate the law. He has even placed a can for donations to offset a possible sanction from the administration authorities.

In fact, the owners of the two bars are afraid. They fear that the penalty for breaking the law could be between 10,000 and 600,000 euros although for the moment no inspector has called by. In Café Vienna, there was a patrol of local police to check their administrative record after receiving an anonymous complaint. However, both Jesus and Sergi are confident that if they were to be punished they will have leeway to decide whether or not they will continue with the protest.

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  • A customer smoking at Cafè Viena (by O. Bosch)

  • A customer smoking at Cafè Viena (by O. Bosch)
Two bars in Mollerussa show resistance to the smoking ban