* Cough Cough! *
I have one simple question: why is Bahrain imposing only a PARTIAL smoking ban? So many Western countries have been successful at banning smoking completely from closed spaces, why can’t we do it?
I wonder if this is similar to that summer when a large supermarket chain introduced environmentally friendly shopping bag policies and then backed out because the customers complained.
Sounds like bad parenting to me
You can’t just give in when the customers complain! If you introduce a new law, just stick with it!
Apparently, the new (partial) smoking ban is now being enforced in hotels and restaurants with fines “up to BD1,000 for those caught breaking the law”.
Over the past few months, I’ve been eagerly waiting for this ban. I have nothing against smokers, but I’m just not interested in inhaling second-hand smoke from anyone.
I was, however, repeatedly disappointed as I saw many restaurants ignoring the ban and continuing life as usual.
I don’t think it’s fair that non-smokers sit in enclosed spaces with smokers, inhaling their toxins and jeopardising their health. I understand when smokers say ‘then why come to the smoking places,’ but it seems like almost all places are smoke-friendly, which leaves us with very little choice.
Once, I wanted to have a quiet evening of music. Because I’m a big piano fan, I decided to go and sit at the lobby café of one of the 5-star beach hotels in Bahrain and listen to the amazing piano played there, while sipping my herbal tea. The evening started off well, but before I knew it, I was surrounded by smoke coming from the tables around me. I inquired if there was a table in the non-smoking section, the lady said the non-smoking section did not exist. “What about the seating area further down the lobby?” I asked. She said that’s reserved for cigar smokers.
There was nowhere I could go. So I left. On my way out, I spoke to the manager. She said that a smoking ban was implemented a few months ago and later reversed because the customers complained. She even said that the staff themselves were suffering because of the smoky environment that they have to work in.
What a shame
I know that the ministry of health is working very hard on this. I just find it a shame that the public, including restaurant owners, are not helping this law come into action.
Why does it have to take us years to reach a total smoking ban? Is our health less important than the rest of the world’s? If the UK was able to ban smoking in bars and pubs (the most smoke-infested places I know) then surely we can do it here!
A smoking ban hotline!
According to a GDN article that came out a few weeks ago, there’s a number that you can call to report hotels and restaurants that ignore the new rules. You can call 39427743 or 17288888. I did call them recently to report a few incidents and they were very helpful. So we’ll wait and see what happens.
The reason I’m writing about this is because I feel very strongly about people’s right to maintain their health.
Cigarette smoke (whether active or passive) has a direct negative effect on health. It adds to the body’s toxic load, it lowers immunity, and it increases your chances for many health conditions and diseases, including cancer.
If you are a smoker, you have made a decision to do so, fully knowing the dangers that this decision entails. However, if you are not a smoker, you will have very little control over your health if you are in a smoky environment.
Worse yet, if you are a child, then you have no say whatsoever in controlling your environment for better health.
A sad example
Let me give you an example. I once had an adult client with various health problems, including many food allergies. Her hair test results showed more cadmium than a chain smoker, although she had never touched a cigarette in her life.
But she guessed where all that cadmium came from. She said her mother was a chain smoker while she was growing up. She remembers being in a smoky house and even running upstairs to her room sometimes to stick her nose out the window for oxygen. Her mother would even take her on long car trips and smoke with the windows closed. That child grew up to have multiple health complaints and obviously the passive smoking was directly affecting her health.
I’ve seen the same with many adults and children. Many autistic children also have a lot of toxins in their system, including cadmium from second-hand smoke.
So, should you say something when you see a child being exposed to toxins or when you see a restaurant or hotel not following the smoking ban?
I think you should, even if you think it won’t have much immediate impact. I believe people should stand up for what’s rightfully theirs. And if you don’t do it for yourself, at least do it for the kids.
Let me know how you get on!
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