There are just some things that I’ll never be able to get used to about Lebanon..like the fact that you can order a pack of cigarettes at almost every restaurant and bar in the country..
I’m always amazed when I’m out with friends, and RIGHT after they finish eating, they order a pack of cigarettes (gross! especially after brunch!) , just like they’re ordering a soda refill..and even more amazed when establishments are fully stocked with every type, color, and strength of cigarette on the market. (And if they aren’t (which is rare)..they quickly send an errand boy to the store to pick it up for the customer).
So much for restaurants and bars becoming non-smoking in Lebanon. Not that I’m giving up on the thought outright.. It’s just that as time passes..and I spend more and more time in Lebanon, I’m becoming more realistic about it. (To this day, People still give me a strange look whenever I refuse a cigarette..come on dude..really? You’re the one willingly inhaling smoke into your lungs!!).
There are just too many factors and stakeholders involved (the owner of the establishment, the tobacco company, the cigarette distributor, and last but definitely not least..the addicted smoker). ..and the habit is just too deeply ingrained into every aspect of Lebanese society!
Shame Shame Shame. *moves pointer finger back and forth in disapproval*
Pictured: one order of Marlboro whites at Eau De Vie's Sunday Brunch
What’s next? Will cigarettes start to be featured on menus? *Scoffs*
Taxi, that is. Yup, found this sign on the dashboard of a ‘Paris Taxi’ taxi cab. It’s not every day you see an “Absolutely NO smoking” sign in a taxi in Beirut.
yup, this is definetly a first. sorry for the bad quality of the photo..this is the first and last time I use my blackberry to take a picture!
Perhaps we’re onto something here? I think this is a great sign..literally and figuratively.
If this isn’t enough to stop you from smoking, I don’t know WHAT is!! Big UPs to Joelle Hatem (@joellehatem) for creating such a great infographic!
Joelle Hatem's smoking infographic..the most shocking thing I learned from this graphic is that smoking one nargileh is equal to smoking two packs of cigarettes! NASTY!
Reading this made me realize how I need to avoid all establishments that permit smoking..Even as a non-smoker I’m subjecting myself to about 2-4 cigarettes daily! Not cool. Not at all.
Thanks again Joelle!
I was reading a post by Darine of The Identity Chef the other day regarding the Lebanese Health Ministry’s campaign to raise awareness about the effects of second hand smoke.
First of all, why second hand smoke? If you can’t even convince people that smoking is bad for themselves (especially in Lebanon, where smoking is a deeply entrenched social habit), do you think that for one second they are going to care about the effect it has on other people? Hell no.
The Health Ministry's most recent campaign
To me, this a sorry excuse for an anti-smoking campaign. Sorry and pathetic. What is the message? “Sucks for you! Not only do you have a shitty job, but you also have to breathe in other people’s second hand smoke!” Does the smoker in this campaign look the least bit concerned that he is causing harm to other people? And what is the waiter supposed to do? Complain to this employer that he is breathing in second hand smoke? Threaten to file a law suit on the grounds of “dangerous working conditions”?..after all this ain’t America..
In another campaign, the ministry took another.. more emotional stance.. albeit equally as ineffective.
another campaign by the Lebanese Health Ministry
Again..Tobacco smoke is “eating” your loved ones? Please. Is that all you can do? Where are the realistic visuals? The campaigns that tug at your heart, that make you disgusted with yourself and with the people around you?
Shock and awe baby. Shock and awe..when it comes to issues like smoking..it’s the only way to go..
Here are some examples of campaigns from around the world..
not so glamorous anymore, now is it..
Gives a new meaning to smoker's mouth..
One of my favorites..
just bloody brilliant!
Now that’s more like it. I say try again Health Ministry, the people are still smoking.
I’m sorry, but if you’re carrying around a torch in your purse or in your pocket..you have serious issues! There are other, more subtle ways, to light your cigarette thank you!
Yup, you have issues!