THE first smokers club in the Valencian Region now has 234 members after just five months of opening.
Members can share a table indoors at the club house in Alicante City without breaching the ‘smoking ban’. “This is a private club and not for profit,” said its president Arunkumar Velleparambil, a native of India and former regent of the India Regional House in Alicante city.
“The idea came after members of the Regional House were no longer able to smoke following the smoking ban,” said Arunkumar, who is a non-smoker himself. At first people were “distrustful and suspicious as they thought we were doing something wrong.”
“We are not going against any law as we do not sell anything, we are just a club,” said Arunkumar. Revenue from contributions and tips from members “is used to cover costs including the rental of the premises, electricity and water.” “As we grow we hope to open for longer periods of time.”
Some members are not even smokers; they say they joined it as a social club.