April 17, 2010

You know what they say, you learn something new every day. Today's new information came to me courtesy of a meeting with the Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of Health. Did you know (because I did not) that Pakistan, in 2002, passed a Prohibition of Smoking & Protection of Non-Smokers Health Bill according to which smoking is banned in ALL public areas in Pakistan? So all those restaurants that courteously ask you if you want a smoking or a non-smoking table, truth is according to law (for the past seven years) there IS no such thing as a smoking table within a restaurant. For the record, you're also not allowed to smoke on public buses. Or in stadiums. Or auditoriums. Or any other public place. Also selling cigarettes at any educational facility is against the law. So is selling cigarettes to minors. All these offences are subject to some pretty hefty fines followed by incarceration.

And despite ALL this being codified in law, most people (including yours truly) have no clue that such provisions exist. There is no enforcement whatsoever. Indoors, outdoors, every-which-where-doors are dominated by human chimneys. And not altogether surprisingly, Pakistan is the eight largest cigarette consumer in the world.

3 comments:

Roshni said...

Just because the law exists, doesn't necessarily means it is applied too...especially in Pakistan. -shrug- ...Unawareness on top of that doesn't really help with anything either. =P ..I didnt know there was a ban on smoking in public places in Pak...by the number of people who've got a cig between thier fingers there, it'd be a real task to bring about ANY changes..ban in public places is a huge step which is probably why it has gone un-noticed because everybody thinks "nobody's going to follow" ..and there's no stopping..so yea....o-o

Alpha Za said...

haha, I actually did know, and I can prove it.

I referenced the irony in a blog I wrote.

http://alphaza.blogspot.com/2010/01/capitalism-ordering-medication-off-menu.html

There is a law of the land and the societal norms. Think Gun Laws and regulation.

Saad said...

you can prevent people smoking indoors in most cases. i have a non-smoking office even though everyone in my office smokes.
you can tell people to go outside and smoke. be rude about it. tell them they're breaking the law. don't be polite. or ashamed. i've told enough people to put out their cigarettes in buses.

as far as this law is concerned, i remember it coming into effect when they stopped selling smokes at college and people had to go off campus to get them.

Now there's a push to have disturbing images of organs put on the cigarette packs. Somthing that happens in other places in the world.

And given that we're the 7th most populous country in the world, if we're the 8th largest cigarette consumers, we're actually below average smokers!