Smoke-free Holidays: A Costa Brava Experience

Like everybody else, I had a great summer holiday with my family in Costa Brava, enjoying a lovely hotel with an attached water park and plenty of activities for the kids.  The staff were great, food was fresh and of course the weather was scorching.  Sounds like a review for the hotel, right?


My only concern was the fact that the adult guests were constantly smoking by the pool side or at the evening entertainment surrounded by children.  Imagine sitting at a table or by your sun lounger and just relaxing and enjoying the moment.  Then other guests arrive and sit at the next table or lounger and start smoking without a care in the world.  You could see people starting to move away from the tables of smokers as the clouds of smoke became an irritant.  It is understandable that my family and others would be bothered by the presence of smoking in areas where you just want to relax and enjoy the vacation.  My son’s reaction summed it up, covering his nose and mouth with his t-shirt!  Secondhand smoke can be not only irritating but also harmful, especially for children and individuals who don’t smoke. We need smoke-free holidays!

cigarette being snapped in half showing the tobacco expressing how they're harmful. Smoke-free holidays
Quitting smoking – male hand crushing cigarette

I don’t smoke or vape but my perspective on this issue is informed by my previous work in the tobacco and vaping industry where I gained insights into the potential harms associated with smoking.  During my time working for a well known tobacco company I would promote awareness about the risks of smoking to make informed choices as a positive way to contribute to public health. The majority of the harm associated with cigarette smoking is mainly due to the harmful substances present in the smoke produced by the combustion of tobacco.  While nicotine is an addictive component found in tobacco, it is not the primary cause of the health risks associated with smoking. 

vape in colourful smoke, smoke-free holidays
Abstract colorful vape. Electronic cigarette with smoke. Generative ai

Instead it’s the thousands of chemicals and toxicants in cigarette smoke that pose significant health hazards.  I was then lucky enough to work for a company in the quality control of e-liquids ensuring the safety, consistency, and accuracy of vaping products.  Vapour products, such as e-cigarettes or vapes, do not contain tobacco and do not involve combustion.  The vapour produced by these products contain significantly less and lower levels of toxicants found in cigarette smoke.  This is one of the main reasons why vaping is considered to be a less harmful alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.  This benefits both consumers and the industry by providing assurance that products are as advertised, meet the necessary safety standards, and plays a role in regulatory compliance.


It can be frustrating when people smoke in public areas where it can affect others, especially children. Many places have implemented smoke-free holidays policies to protect the health of non-smokers and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.  In some cases, hotels and resorts also have designated smoking areas to address this concern.  It’s unfortunate that some guests were inconsiderate of others and disregarded the discomfort and potential risks their smoking might have caused.

man smoking cigarette
stop smoking

I have always been a friendly person and enjoyed helping people out.  Whenever I get the opportunity, I like to use my knowledge to encourage friends and family to make healthier choices, whether by quitting smoking or switching to vaping as a potentially safer alternative.


It’s not uncommon for early experiences or interactions with smoking to influence a person’s decision not to smoke later in life.  I had an uncomfortable experience with my uncle when I was younger.  Being locked in a room until I smoked his favourite cigar is definitely an unusual way to introduce someone to smoking, and it’s understandable that it might have had a lasting impact on my attitude towards smoking.


Ultimately, your decision not to smoke is a personal one, and it’s important to prioritise your own health and well-being.  Many people choose not to smoke due to health concerns, personal preferences, or negative experiences like the one I described.  It’s a positive choice that can have long-term benefits for your health. Lets make a push for smoke-free holidays!