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A law gone up in smoke

Jul 02,2017 - Last updated at Jul 02,2017

In a surprising move, the ministries of tourism and health, the Greater Amman Municipality and the Jordan Restaurant Association reached an “agreement” whereby hundreds of restaurants and cafés will no longer be fined for allowing smoking the hubble bubble.

The deal gives these public spaces a six-month grace period to “rectify” their situation, which will eventually entail distinct smoking and non-smoking areas, adequate ventilation systems and imposing an age limit for smokers, which is above 18.

Strangely, the Ministry of Health, which should be the foremost campaigner against smoking, had decided that places licensed to serve hookahs did not have to follow the law prohibiting smoking in public places, and it was the municipality that refused to renew or issue new licences for public establishments that allowed smoking, a stand for which it deserved to be commended.

Now it went back on its decision, and until the end of the year businesses will enjoy the patronage of smokers, with not a thought for those who do not indulge in the habit.

It appears that the concerned authorities are missing the point behind the WHO rule against smoking in public places, which Jordan adopted in principle, but never got around to fully respecting.

Smoking, research shows, is bad for health. It is the reason for a long list of medical conditions and comes with a hefty price tag, both for the country and for individuals.

These considerations should override the business concerns of restaurants and cafés.

The WHO’s goal is to “eliminate” smoking in public places, not restrict it.

Nations that respect the right to health and life prohibit smoking even outside public places, and their businesses still thrive. People adjust and diehard smokers still have areas allocated to them to puff away at leisure.

Our authorities seem to be going the opposite way, prioritising the business of restaurants and cafés, at the expense of health.

The restrictions expected to take effect at the end of the year are not enough and will be ineffective.

Designating smoking areas, even “with clear indication signs”, will not stop smoke from drifting around, and not even the most efficient ventilation system can absorb all the smoke, which means that non smokers will be left vulnerable to its pernicious effect.

 

This reversal of policy on smoking in public places requires urgent reconsideration by the Cabinet and other branches of government.

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Comments

IF I MAY ADD, HOW DOES THE JORDANIANS VIEW THIS SENSELESS POLICY? I NEED TO HEAR FROM ANY JORDANIAN WHAT THEY CAN MAKE OUT OF THIS. AT LEAST, THE LITTLE I KNOW ABOUT THE REGION IS THAT ANYTHING THAT IS HARMFUL IS HARAM. IS THIS HARAM AS WELL?.

THIS IS CALLED AND EXCELLENT PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY THAT RUNS ON STEROID. IT REMINDS ME OF WHEN JORDAN USE TO TAX ANY VEHICLE IF THE ARE EQUIPED WITH SEAT BELTS AND/OR ANY OTHER SAFETY MEASURES. WELL, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD ALSO ALLOW ALL FORMS OF DOPE TO BE USED BY INJECTION, SMOKE OR ANY MEANS AS THEY SEE TO FEED THEIR POCKETS AND HABITS. HOW MANY FOREIGN TOURISTS SMOKE OR DO NOT COMPLAIN OF THIS SMOKING ADDICTION THAT POISON THEM WHILE IN JORDAN? THIS EDITORIAL IS NOT ONLY CORRECT THAT WHAT WAS ONCE HAILED AS SOUND PUBLIC POLICY HAS NOW GONE UP IN SMOKE. READ MY LIPS AND THIS IS THE SAME AS WHEN THE GOVERNMENT PUBLISHED THAT JORDANIAN WOMEN MARRIED TO NON JORDANIAN HUSBANDS CAN NOW HAVE FULL RIGHTS. BY THE WAY, I WISH TO REMIND MY BELOVED IN LAWS THAT THE MOST PREVENTABLE CAUSES OF DISEASES AND DEATHS IS SMOKING. HOW MUCH TAXES WILL THE GOVERNMENT COLLECT AND HOW MUCH MORE MONEY CAN THE MARCHANTS OF DEATHS MAKE BY CREATING DISEASES THAT HAS NO CURE AND COST THE GOVERNMENT AND JORDANIANS MORE THAN THEY CAN AFFORD EVERY YEAR? YOUR TOBACCO IS " WMD " WORST THAN NUKES.

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