Lebanon: “Ain't No Smoking Tonight” A Failure

“Ain't No Smoking 2nite” was an event organized by Rotaract which took place in Gemmayzeh pubs in Beirut on the 28th of October. This was in an attempt to spread awareness about the dangers of smoking and to encourage decision makers to promote non-smoking policies in Lebanon. Lebanese bloggers covered the event saying it was a failure.

At first, the participation seemed impressive even before the start of the event. Thirty-five pubs in Gemmayzeh street announced their participation and the campaign sounded promising.

Maya Zankoul, a Lebanese blogger at “Maya's Amalgam“, a graphic designer and one of the campaign sponsors designed the poster and saw how it was all over the streets:
Ain't No Smoking 2nite Poster

But talking is cheap, and when the day came, almost none of the pubs had a smoking-free night.
Maya wrote about how bad it was and said it was a joke:

It was quite a disappointment that we failed to achieve the relatively simple task of having dinner in a non-smoking environment – on a night consecrated to non-smoking! It showed a major lack of determination in the pubs’ policy, and showed that the reason they agreed to support the cause is probably for the free publicity they got.

Not only did the pubs not participate, but some actually posted “Smoking Friendly” signs on their doors. Samer Karam from “Blogging Beirut” was there and took the photo below. He added:

Times have changed in Beirut – Smoking Friendly Environment must be Explicit! Check photo

Liliane, a Lebanese blogger at “My Lebanon is being burned into ashes” and a non-smoking advocate was angry at the failure of the initiative and wrote:

Congratulations fellow Lebanese on one of your other lousy sense of humanity, logic and respect. Kudos! Ya3tikoun el 3afieh. I am glad I didn't go to Gemmayze because if I did and had found people smoking, I would've probably caused a scene.

Sign Petition to pass an electoral law to ban smoking in public places here.

Meanwhile, Syria has recently issued a decree that bans smoking in public places. Can we see this happening in Lebanon anytime soon? Or will it be a failure as well?


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