Skip to comments.Smoking in Iraq - Butt out, please Imposing the mother of all cigarette bans
Posted on 08/28/2009 8:16:44 AM PDT by swarthyguy
ITS the health and safety measure Iraqis have not been waiting for. The government in Baghdad last week banned smoking in public buildings. Anyone found lighting up will have to pay a fine equivalent to $4,300, enough to buy 17,200 packs of cigarettes at the local price of about 25 cents. Do the politicians have nothing better to do? asks Abu Yasser, as he takes a drag while filling up his car at a petrol station. My cousin was recently murdered by terrorists, my neighbour was tortured by the police, my electricity is cut for most of the day, the same is true in most hospitals in the city. And they are worried about smoking?
As soon as parliament ratifies the cabinet-imposed ban, Iraqi smokers will be forced to loiter on street corners exposed to car bombs and 45-degree heat in the summer. But according to a recent study, smoking kills an average of 55 Iraqis a day, compared to a current average of ten deaths daily from terrorist shootings or bombings. So the government argues that it is perfectly reasonable to outlaw smoking on public-health grounds.
Nonetheless, the ban has done nothing to improve the already low opinion many Iraqis have of their democratically elected government. Bring back Saddam, says a cigarette vendor. We were free to smoke anywhere then. Others link the ban to reports of torture in official detention. Prisons are public buildings, right? So will they now prevent guards from stubbing out cigarettes on the arms, legs and backs of inmates? asks one university student. With nerves jangled from years of upheaval, nicotine is often the first and only comfort. Stuck at checkpoints, Iraqis pass around cigarettes. Faced with recalcitrant bureaucrats, they do the same.
In parliament though, the ban is popular. Islamists want to get rid of tobacco outright. Of course, many ministers and MPs smoke too, often in their offices. But, given their elevated positions, few rules apply to them.
America and Islamists, hand in hand, wiping out the dreaded tabak together.
See, we can get along.
Not a popular cause to take up currently, but Western compliance with the diktats of Sharia on tabak. OF course, that’s not why the bans went in, but intent is almost irrelevant, results are. Result is America is now more Sharia compliant than before the Attacks.
Welcome to freedom.
Sounds like a battle cry to me!
Yikes, not the best scenario in which to argue for smokers' freedom.
This is a little worse than the usual bitching I hear from my own neighbors.
Welcome to the USSA, Iraq.
This sounds to me like the author was using smoking as a way to bash the U.S. intervention in Iraq. Look again at the article - they were better off before, the government is now evil (but wasn’t under their dictator?) - all complaints about life now - electricity cut, bombs, terrorists, long lines, even the police torture innocent people - only comfort is smoking and they are taking that. The smoking issue aside, to me, this appears to be a blame the U.S. piece.
Wait till they find out they have to wear a helmet to RIDE a camel.
Well, I do blame the US for our draconian antitabak mindset.
Not just the goobers, state and feds, but the citizens too.
Guess that makes me anti US too.
Ain’t it though.
Though I love how the cudgel of antismoking was justified by the shibboleth of our childrens health and so on.
When they grow up in our new non smoking world, will they thank us for delivering them from tabak while we saddle them with gazillions of debt as we shuffle off this mortal coil.
Don’t worry about the chits, kids, you’ll live longer to pay off the bills we’ve accumalated in our pampered lives and passed on to you.
This guy just said “My neighbor was tortured by police” and yet the conversation STILL went on about the smoking ?
Wait a sec.. Just wait a sec..
tortured by police ? Call the Editor - the Tobacco story is on hold. Tortured by police ?
I'm tortured every morning by an alarm clock. I want the government to do something about it dammit!
Yea, this is a good way for the American’s to get along with their Arab brothers and convince them that we aren’t trying to take over.
The Islamists of Iraq have logic and reality by their side, see even the infidel Americans have banned smoking in their own country. Why shouldn’t we?
Though this legislation was implemented by Iraq’s government and I doubt the US had anything formal to do with this, but unofficially and via UN.EU pressure, for future goodies.
My main point is that this illustrates the possiblity of American/Jihadi peace, we DO have something in common with the Islamists.
Exactly what I was referring to - all the mention of how horrible life is now WITHOUT Sadaam? It’s a hit piece against our evil military invasion.
Yes, we do. Hatred of the International Health Goody Police.
But don’t expect them to make the connection. The reason they hate us so much is because the left wing has put out propaganda that America is the enemy, and they are so brain washed right now it is unbelievable.
I will say, I am noticing a pattern with the left wing. They divide people up, trick them into hating each other, than say they stand for peace and love when that can’t be farther from the truth.
“Wait till they find out they have to wear a helmet to RIDE a camel”
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