Public smoking has been banned in two Spanish regions in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Under a law which came into force on Thursday in the northwestern region of Galicia, smokers are forbidden to remove mandatory face masks to smoke in public if it is not possible to maintain a distance of two metres.
It is believed to be the first such restriction in Europe.
The government of the region said infected smokers could blow droplets carrying the virus while exhaling.
The regional government of Spain's Canary Islands also banned outdoor smoking, which came into effect on Friday along with the mandatory wearing of face masks in all public spaces.
Officials in regions including Madrid and Andalusia said they were considering similar smoking restrictions.
Spain's regions are responsible for healthcare policy, which has led to a mix of measures to curb the virus.
The new rules come as Spain deals with a rise in COVID-19 cases since 21 June, when it ended its lockdown measures, one of the world's strictest.
Spain, with a population of 47 million, leads Western Europe with more than 337,000 cases, compared with nearly 252,000 cases of Italy's 60 million inhabitants, which was the first European country to be rocked by the virus.
While the smoking bans were applauded by many medical experts, some questioned its effectiveness.
Fernando Garcia, an epidemiologist at the Carlos III institute for health, told AFP the measure was "a bit disproportionate" given the lack of evidence that "tobacco smoke can transmit the disease".
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said tobacco users could increase the possibility of transmission of the disease since it involves contact of fingers with the lips.
Outside Europe, South Africa has banned the sale of tobacco because it may lead people to drop social distancing while Jordan banned smoking in closed public spaces.
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