The Lebanese people did not get the idea behind the smoking ban in Lebanon; plain and simple.
When someone or a group attacks an idea or action from the very beginning, you know they did not understand it.
Lebanese (smoking) people and café owners poured so much hate on the smoking ban law. That, I think, might lead to a revolution in Lebanon, if, the law was applied for a period long enough. Why the hate? They hated because that law infringes their right as smokers to smoke and as tobacco dealers to make money even if it overrules the rights of everyone else to breathe fresh air. But hey, these are only 20% of the population. Imagine, 20% of a population in full demographics, including children. Now personally, even though I’m not a smoker, I suffered from passive smoking for a long time and I got used to it. So the law wouldn’t affect my life so much. But to those nagging, I have a few replies.
– You mentioned that this not an urgent issue and there are more important things.
I say: my friend, if your life and health is not an urgent issue, then you just admitted that your existence on earth is meaningless and that you’re a waste of natural resources, so please go die, NOW!
– Some said the law provides measures; they should’ve done different things like increasing the packet’s price or enforcing the smoking areas in public places.
I say: Bitch please, if the price of a packet increased we’d have had two scenarios:
1. Smoking would have become a luxury, and then everyone would run after it (Not only 80%) especially with the unique Lebanese consumer price elasticity (when the price of a product goes up, the demand for it goes up)
2. You’d probably die or steal to smoke, because you’d be forced not to smoke at all. Thank your god that you’re banned from smoking inside public places only.
As for the smoking areas, let’s be realistic, they were never useful, we’d always sat in smoke free areas with smoke coming towards us from the neighboring table that was in the smoking area.
– Some said our economy is based on selling Arguileh and Cigarettes.
I say: Seriously? If a country’s GDP mainly comes from smoking, it’s not an efficient economy, that’s not even ECONOMICS 101, that’s logic. Otherwise, let’s all kill ourselves.
– And I go back to those nagging about the situation in Lebanon and how we should focus on more important stuff like security and infrastructure, and how this is only another scam to rip people and make their lives hell, etc…
I ask you to ask more about how the smoking ban law took place… The health sciences department in AUB has a committee that works only on that, it’s headed by Dr. Rima Nakkache, a young really successful academic, who lives in her beautiful world, and who found smoking to be a problem. So she (along with other people) decided to do something about it. So they researched, and researched, and did conferences, and communicated with people in NGOs to support, and lobbied for several years until the law passed. What did most Lebanese (smoking) people see? They saw an action against their personal freedom to kill themselves and those around them. What I saw, a courageous effort to make Lebanon a better place by this group of people in their field of expertise, and they succeeded.
So, if anyone of you is nagging about pollution, or the cranky taxi driver or the old cars ruining the streets of Beirut, or whatever problem you faced. Do something about it! Don’t throw garbage around, or gather a group of people and do clean that street, or lobby to ask for better cleaning services. Or smile to the taxi driver when you get into his car; that would change that person’s behavior, and if you want a bigger change, take a bigger initiative!