What do you say to starting off the day with some EXCELLENT news??
I think it's a SPLENDID idea!
How about trying this on for size--a smoking ban in public plans in Lebanon is expected to take effect within a year--oh yes!! You can go ahead and read that again! This is somewhere on par with the Syrians forced to flee the country as in: "I never though I'd live to see the day when this would happen in Lebanon."
This monumental decision obviously occurred because we asked you to join the "Ban indoor smoking in public places in Lebanon" group on facebook two days ago--congrats guys! You did it! :P
Ok, so what are the details and the loopholes/catches you may ask?
- smoking banned in all public places within a year (according to George Saadeh, head of National Tobacco Control Program at a debate on the issue Tuesday at the AUB)
- ban would encompass all public spaces, including restaurants and cafes (and clubs i'm assuming??)
- ban affects not only cigarettes but nargileh and all other tobacco products
- ban will be enforced by fining violators: up to 50,000LL for an individual violator and 1 million LL for owners of establishments where violations occur
But MOST IMPORTANTLY:
- smoking will be reduced
- you won't die of secondhand smoke every time you go out
- you wont come home with your clothes smelling like you've just escaped a burning building
- overall smoking in the population will decrease in the long run
- quite simply people will lead healthier lives
and what do we have for the cons?
- the only exempt public spaces from the ban would be outdoor spaces (how very French of us)
- Enforcement--take the Beirut Airport for example--smoking is banned indoors and yet right below the non-smoking sign is an ashtray.
- it still hasn't been enforced yet, no official legislation has been signed, so it's really just us trusting politicians, and yeh--i don't like the sound of that, so i'll believe it when i see it
Yeh...I would say the Pros outweigh the Cons...
Whats next? Ban on tobacco product advertising?? Health warning on cigarettes? Higher prices for cigarettes???
Read the Daily Star article here
So I want to be more cautious before I celebrate--because after all it is Lebanon--a place where optimists often have their souls crushed by 8-inch platform diamond-studded heels--but I can't help but smile :)
"Monsieur, tfee il sigara iza bit reed! Il tadkheen mamnou3. Merci"
3 hours ago