Indoor smoking and tobacco advertising banned in Lebanon!

Ok so I know I’m a bit late to break this piece of news..but..indoor smoking and tobacco advertising have finally been banned in Lebanon!

Hurray! Rejoice!!

According to YaLibnan,

“Lebanon’s Parliament endorsed a law banning smoking in all enclosed public places, including restaurants, bars, cafes and offices this past Wednesday. The law was presented for vote with an amendment that would fine owners of businesses if they fail to implement the smoking ban and will also fine individuals who violate the ban.

Under the new law tobacco advertising and promotion will be illegal, including billboards, magazine advertisements and tobacco company sponsorship of events and concerts. The bill also calls for a pictorial warning of the dangers of smoking covering 40 percent of the surface of the pack. The law also makes smoking on board commercial flights illegal. Hotels are allowed to set aside 10 to 20 percent of their rooms for smokers.

Lebanon has been obligated to pass tobacco control legislation since it is a signatory to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which became effective in 2005.”

Tobacco companies should adopt this new design! Smoking KILLS!


This is especially a win for those nonsmokers who had to battle with smoking being permitted in the workplace! I mean, it’s one thing to to put up with smoking and smokers when you’re at a restaurant, bar, or nightclub..but at work everyday? Now that’s just abuse.

I am really so thrilled to hear that this legislation has been passed. The true test is going to be if establishments comply! Does anyone know what the penalties for failing to observe the law will be?

I imagine tobacco companies are shaking in their boots right about now..not to mention many Advertising and PR companies who rely heavily on the business they get from said Tobacco companies! How do you think that this new legislation is going to affect business given how much smoking is ingrained in Lebanese culture/society. Do you think people are going to be going out less – preferring to have people over their houses where they can smoke freely?

Indoor smoking banned in Lebanon

Ain't no smoking ANY night!




Filed under life in Lebanon

24 responses to “Indoor smoking and tobacco advertising banned in Lebanon!

  1. smokers are notorious for them challenging the rules but when businesses have to pay fines for breaking the law, I think it’ll accept the ban and gradually Lebanon will become less of a smokers society and maybe become a more productive one *fingers crossed*
    Smokers might not go out as often but non smokers will! I’m pretty sure non smokers and people willing to give up “social” smoking are a majority.

    • It’s definitely going to be a policing job for business owners! So, not only do they have to make sure that their service and their offerings are up to par, but now they have to employ people to make sure their patrons aren’t smoking! ..and even that will make for an awkward conversation! Still, I wonder which task force the government is going to send out to ensure that establishments are complying with law.

      • Youssef Chaker

        the health ministry is responsible to enforce it with some help from the consumer protection agency. but mostly, the responsibility falls on the fellow citizens to make sure establishments are doing their job.

  2. Tall, Dark and Handsome

    You make it seem like smokers are the devil… I’m a smoker, have been for years, but I don’t enjoy walking into a restaurant or pub and barely being able to see through the maze of smoke.

    Personally, I think a compromise would have been better. I have yet to enter an establishment in Beirut that has proper ventilation for smoking areas. Smoking sections in restaurants are just politely put aside, whereas they NEED a source of air extraction over every table so that the smell and smoke wouldn’t waft away towards the rest of the people.

    My point is, I’m a smoker and I don’t enjoy smoke acting as a deterrent in any of my activities. Many of us are quite willing and happy to walk outside and have a cigarette. It’s what I’ve been doing for years, in Beirut or otherwise.

    I genuinely hope this law gets properly enforced, not like every other one in this country. The seatbelt/phone laws, for instance.

    Cheers, Zade K.

    • Hey Zade! Thanks for your comment. I didn’t mean to make smokers sound like “the devil,” and I have to agree with you that if places were properly ventilated, there wouldn’t be so much of a problem! But the reality is,,it’s either all or nothing in Lebanon! Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs couldn’t be bothered with putting proper ventilation systems in place probably coz the government never mandated them to! Honestly, I wouldn’t have THAT much of a problem with an establishment having a “smoking” long that the place was properly ventilated and I didn’t come out smelling like an ashtray! So, I agree with you that perhaps a compromise should’ve been reach first rather than implementing such an extreme measure. I will be following developments closely to see how this all pans out!

      You said something about you being willing to go outside to smoke a cigarette..and honestly, that’s great! But do you really think that there are others like you? In my year and a half in Beirut, I never once saw people doing that!

  3. As long as the law is enforced on everyone regardless who they are or who they know then it should work with a little bit of time. I was in the UK when they first introduced public smoking ban and you would be surprised how that worked out. However, Lebanon isn’t well known for it’s law abiding citizens. If anything, it’s the other way round unfortunately.

    On a side note, I wasn’t sure there were still commercial airliners allowing smoking onboard. Although such companies should be thanked rather than let down. In the good old days, smoking was allowed on planes in a section which only bothered a single neighbouring row if that. Arriving at various destinations wasn’t so tiring and you were guaranteed to get there feeling fresh. To substitute for the smoke, airliners had to completely flush the air out continuously and take in fresh air. With the flight smoking ban, the airlines switched from that to recycling air throughout the cabin and taking in fresh air only when oxygen levels drop below a certain threshold. Hence why you are more than likely to arrive slightly more tired than before. The smoking ban was economically beneficial for the airlines. Since it was saving them money, they were chasing after implementing it at any cost without using their lobbying powers in their countries to purge such laws down the drain. Are the businesses compensated for any losses in Lebanon? Would nonsmokers make it profitable for businesses in Lebanon? That is the real question that they should have asked before implementing a nationwide smoking ban.

    • Wow Chadi! I never knew that about airlines,,but of course it makes sense. I almost wish they still allowed smoking then, if it means that more air is circulated! Especially on longer flights! I too hope that everyone has to abide by this matter who they are or who they know. Thanks for your comments. 😀

      • actually, the smoking ban on planes came into force when an air-crash investigation concluded that smoking on that plane was the main reason for the crash
        12/24/1982 CAAC Illyshin IL-18 Guangzhou, China A passenger’s cigarette caused a fire in the cabin which led to an oxygen tank exploding. The plane crashed killing 25 of 69 aboard.
        so I think we’re better off with smoking banned on airplanes 😛

  4. Tobacco companies have been preparing for this law for a few months now, I for one, have been working on a full restructuring and rebranding of a tobacco brand…its all in the works to comply with such a law.
    But the thing is, in Lebanon its the people who abide and who don’t that cause something so major and so good to crash. I hope this law gets enforced like it should, although as you might have noticed, people are not taking it so seriously since laws haven’t been taken seriously since who knows when!

    • Hi Gaby! I imagine that tobacco companies would’ve been given a heads up about this quite a while ago seeing how much a law of this nature has the potential to impact their business. I’m really interested to see what you are doing for the tobacco company you are working for. It would make a really interesting case study. How to reposition a tobacco brand in this market must be quite a challenge! When I wrote about the people having to suffer with smokers in their office, I was talking about you. 😀

  5. I can’t imagine Beirut pubs and clubs without smoking. I’m so sure they’ll excuse those from the law.
    I guess we’ll just have to see!

  6. Rob

    this is a report prepared by CNN in 2009 about smoking in lebanon.

    and another recently prepared by Kalam el Nas (this video is in Arabic, apologies for whomever does not understand it, i will try to translate its main points)

    in short:
    -3000 Lebanese die every year because of smoking.
    -80% of teens (13 to 15) suffer from passive smoking in their homes
    -75% of teens (13 to 15) suffer from passive smoking in public places (including cafes, restaurants and SCHOOLS)
    -53% of TODDLERS suffer of passive smoking because of their parents smoking hookah or cigarettes.
    -65% of kids between 13 and 15 smoke either cigarettes or water pipes.
    -50% of adults smoke.
    -Prior to the new law there was no minimum age for buying cigarettes
    -30 min of Passive smoking equates to smoking 2 to 4 cigarettes.
    -smoking a hookah is the equivalent of smoking 2 packs of cigarettes.

    Smoking in Lebanon is not an indication of freedom, its an indication of our ignorance to all the dangers we subject ourselves and others to. Banning smoking in Lebanon is a great step forward.

    • Those stats are insane! Thanks for taking the time to find them and for posting them here. It really paints a scary picture..I cannot believe that smoking was permitted in schools!!

  7. Great article as usual Danielle! I’m surprised that some people have to put up with smoking at work. I know that it’s currently banned in a lot of offices (including mine). But to be honest, I don’t know if it’ll actually be applied. I really hope so though!

  8. Try sitting in a car with a smoker. They are from Lebanon, smoking is quite common, and therefore, they don’t think to roll the windows down…..
    At least in the US they do that much! And I know my dad always smokes outside the house. My mom forced him to do so early on in the marriage… my family in Lebanon seems to laugh in amazement at that.

    • For me, the worst was when I would be going to work in a service..and the driver would light one up! As if being in a old broken down and dirty car wasn’t bad enough! Now I had to smell like smoke the minute I got to work? Dang!

  9. well I should say, my family members for the most part don’t seem to question if the smoke is bothering or not in small amount of spaces – I am sure not EVERYONE is like that in Lebanon, to clarify haha. as they are family so they become comfortable around me .

  10. Haha, lets see if they can even enforce this law in govt offices and police stations. I honestly cannot imagine any authority capable of telling some “mas3oul” that he can’t smoke in his office.

  11. Pingback: Smoking Ban in Lebanon « Lebanese Rob

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