Restaurant Owners Syndicate Boycotts Smoking Ban

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Former head of the restaurant owners syndicate Paul Ariss announced on Wednesday the boycott of the smoking ban that has been imposed in Lebanon.

“After authorities implemented the smoking ban, work deteriorated by 60 percent,” Ariss told Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5).

Demonstrators blocked the Sodeco road in Ashrafiyeh after calls by the Syndicate to protest the damage inflicted by the ban.

Ariss resigned on October 19 in protest against the smoking ban.

Restaurant owners had previously protested the ban, saying it will affect the country’s “most important sector.”

The ban came into effect in September in accordance to Law 174, which passed a year ago.

The National Tobacco Control Program of the Health Ministry says more than 3,500 Lebanese die each year from tobacco-related diseases.

Comments 30
Default-user-icon mazen (Guest) 07 November 2012, 12:55

maybe non smokers should shun institutions that allow smokers, we'll see who is the majority!! I suggest that non smokers leave a resto. without paying if someone lights up! 60 percent decline in business is due to bombings, political stalemate, and crisis in Syria. Not because of the smoking ban!!

Default-user-icon marwan (Guest) 07 November 2012, 16:08

i agree!

Thumb primesuspect 07 November 2012, 20:45

Good idea mazen. This smoking ban is implemented in the civilized world, the syndicat is demonstrating that Lebanese are uncivilized and aren't willing to evolve.

Default-user-icon George (Guest) 07 November 2012, 13:07

Work is deteriorating because of the economic situation, the polical stabiliy and the over supply of restaurents. Smoking Ban allone cannot explain a 60% drop. furthermore, a restaurent or bar business plan is not based arround smoking, otherwise they should be called Smoking Houses.

Too bad! Smoking Kills in Lebanon as it does in NY, London and Paris, and we will just have to learn to live with a smoking ban like everywhere else in the modern world.

Default-user-icon Majid H (Guest) 07 November 2012, 13:12

TFEEE. The Lebanese will never become civilised. They have no respect for others who do not smoke which are the majority of people in Lebanon. They have no shame and have no idea how selfish and self centred they are. They can adapt to plastic surgery and materialism however adapting to a law which may help improve business by attacting non-smokers and improving the health and well being of the Lebanese people.

Default-user-icon Geo (Guest) 07 November 2012, 13:32

I guess in Lebanon money is more important then health.

Thumb slash 07 November 2012, 13:43

there is a way in creating a law to ban something , in France it came after years of studies and taking other countries like Italy to create that law . In elbanon we got it in one night , without any study liek all the other laws that this government did , when you want to ban smoking , you cannot just ban it , people will suffer from that , this law should have included parts where restaurants /pubs can have a smoking areas ... Smokers are many and even in higher numbers than non smokers , why not force non smokers to smoke in that case ?

Thumb primesuspect 07 November 2012, 20:50

Does Lebanon have money to launch costly studies? In the western world, the smoking ban was announced one year in advance before the D. Day... Akeed it didn't happen like this in Lebanon... Still, the ban is necessary. Same goes for diesel cars which makes the air unbreathable and gives lung cancer like cigarets do.

Missing peace 07 November 2012, 21:05

but if you plead for the rights of non smokers then it would be fair to plead for the right of smokers too! so the best solution for everyone would be a non smoking zone for non smokers and a smoking zone for smokers!

but before that more important health issues should be the priority not a stupid ban on cigarettes and nothing done for the biggest problem for health which is air pollution and anrchic buildings with no green zones and parks to filter the fumes and make the air more breathable for all!!!!

Thumb andre.jabbour 07 November 2012, 23:28

In Europe or America they raised the price of cigarette packs, they don't want people to quit, they (the governments) want to make money for their deficitary budgets. If they wanted to make people quit, they'd forbid smoking or they'd sell the pack 20€ each. I beleive this is where the current Lebanese government is heading, more taxes.... Less rights. I'm not a smoker but I'm against state interference in our businesses.

Missing zakiiansari 07 November 2012, 14:54

they have been talking about the smoking ban for a quite some times now! it is absolutaly nothing new. but unfortunately Lebanese like to always interpret things as they like. the same way the modern world has done, so should we! Compared with population rate, Lebanon has one of the highest death rate in the region.. it is due time to wake up.zah

Default-user-icon Elias (Guest) 07 November 2012, 15:09

Firstof all, in response to some of the comments above, I'd like to remind them that this law didn't come out suddenly. Institutions were given an entire year to comply before it became enforced. Restaurants and night clubs shouldn't be a place where there is smoking, and if that's all that was keeping some restaurants open, then I'd be happy to see them close. Anyone who has traveled outside of Lebanon will know that there is no such thing as "smoking" and "non-smoking" areas in a restaurant, and in most civilized countries, smoking in public is also banned.I personally shouldn't have to suffer other people's second hand smoke when dining at a restaurant, and I certainly don't want to end up with lung cancer. Maybe this ban will help decrease hospitalization and thus money spent on treatment of such cures. I hope the government continues implementing one of the best laws they ever passed.

Default-user-icon marwan (Guest) 07 November 2012, 16:07

Ya jame3a, ya jame3a...i wrote it before, and i write again: restaurants can create 2 spaces within their restaurants: one for non smokers, one for smokers, well seperated. This concept is all around the world!!doing so, all parties will be happy|!!

Default-user-icon Nayla (Guest) 07 November 2012, 16:27

I would advocate splitting restaurants and bars in smoking and non-smoking areas, with good ventilation and real separation. The one thing that poses a problem tho is that employees who serve in smoking areas are getting the second hand smoke that is almost as bad for their lungs.

Thumb ado.australia 07 November 2012, 16:54

Well the whole western world has moved this way and restaurants and entertainment industries have survived! all predicted the end of restaurants and night clubs... but they have all adapted and survived. all that is asked is that there are designated non smoking areas! i am against some extreme views of out right smoking bans, but enforcing designated smoke free areas in every establishment will not kill any business.

Missing peace 07 November 2012, 17:31

why should there be a smoking ban? they say for health? hahaha! and they do NOTHING to reduce pollution from cars and trucks and let rivers polluted and so on? it s not a mark of civilisation as some post here! it s a mark of stupidnessas long as they let beirut polluted that much, it affect more the health than cigarettes in restaurants!

there are more important issues concerning health than this populist law to try to show they are working while they do nothing for the REAL priorities....!

Default-user-icon Somking ban (Guest) 08 November 2012, 00:34

How weak are lebanese? You need your cigarette to live? Pathetic

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 08 November 2012, 02:03

As someone that has lived in both USA, Australia and now back in Lebanon this law is wrong for many reasons firstly: More people die from violence, war, traffic, air pollution (cars, generators, factories in highly populated areas, bad sewage etc) than they do from tobacco pollution. Secondly even in parts of the USA their are shisha lounges dedicated to smokers. For those that call Lebanese uncivilised i find that extremely offensive, considering all the problems they deal with the last thing they need is this blow to the economy. Take Budda Bar as an example, in the worse of times it never closed its doors and believe me im here on the ground the situation is not worse that it was in previous years. Thirdly in all "civilised" countries they give these places years to prepare areas where smokers can go (outdoor areas, patios etc)….

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 08 November 2012, 02:04

…Fourth but not LEAST in all civilised countries they look at where their losses are, for example like it or hate it Lebanon has a cultural aspect in this in terms of arguileh/shisha cafes..in amsterdam its weed and in Lebanon its shisha so why not make an acception for this. Im 100% banning smoking in other public places and restaurants like Roadster, Mcdonalds etc, but Lebanons major industry is the hospitality and for all of u saying that it doesn't effect the industry well ur obviously not talking to waiters and those who work in the industry. Fortunately in "civilised" countries young university students are not relying solely on the hospitality industry as a means of employment…

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 08 November 2012, 02:05

…In fact in all my times in the West never have i seen such a huge hospitality industry and thats what made Lebanon a desirable place to be. If they wanna make the ban let them do what they do in the west and give people the water, electricity and cheap/fast internet they need to stay at home and socialise and let them start social security so they can claim responsibility for peoples health. How dare the government say that tobacco is causing a deficit for the government when people have to pay their way into hopsitals even in an emergency. This is just a silly tactic by certain parties to destroy Lebanons nightlife and as we can see nightclubs and restaurants have started closing more than in all of Lebanons turbulant history. When its storming outside and about to snow and people are forced to stay in their unheated homes or stand in the streets, lets see the health risks that will arise there…

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 08 November 2012, 02:05

…LIKE IT OR NOT shisha cafes such as Antelias street are a social thing in our culture, those who dont like it can go to a proper restaurant or mall these places were not made for food and to those who continue to show disgust to what they call a dirty habit (shisha) well look at the west where more people use other much more explicit drugs and stay at home smoking weed and ice as a means to socialising. Thank god this is our uncivilised countries dirty habit! For those who have lived outside they will be sure to see worse habits…

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 08 November 2012, 02:06

…In LA there are legal marijuana dens yet in Lebanon they want to close down traditional style cafes! Plus finally most Lebanese go to these places to socialise, the majority can not afford to eat out every night and dont have the ammenities they do in the west to stay and entertain at home (electricity being number 1), so they go out and share an arguile big deal!!! Dont like it go somewhere else and leave these money making places who hire thousands of our unemployed youth in peace. With all the civilised western tourists that have visited me here, shisha cafes have never been a disgust to them but rather something they find exciting and interesting. Without our hospitality and nightlife industry we have nothing to little to offer people from the west, especially with our travel warning status...

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 08 November 2012, 02:06

So leave these places alone, fix the other problems that seriously effect every day life and then when the people are less stressed, anxious, depressed and uncertain then they probably will stop smoking without this useless government telling them to!

Missing chouf2 08 November 2012, 06:27

Before we worry about smoking ,how about removing all the weapons first .It doesn’t need a scientist to work it out more people have been killed from weapons ,regarding smoking it is up to the individual ,if you don’t like smoking than don’t go to restaurant where people are smoking ,who cares .Lebanon has lots of issues to deal with than to worry about some sensitive person worrying about smoking .

Thumb kanaandian 08 November 2012, 10:40

Lebanese should make the cigarette at least 3x more pricier then they are now. Sure, they will be upset at first, but in the long run you will be grateful. Smoking skills. Nobody else should be exposed to 2nd hand smoke against their will; it's selfish and ignorant. Go to reserved places or smoke outside! It is for the better of yourself and everyone.

Missing lozinaus 08 November 2012, 22:43

I agree consideration should have been given to the traditions and cultural makeup of Lebanon before implementing such laws. Coming from Australia you have the choice to eat in a smoking or non smoking place. But I regularly travel to tripoli and I'd be shocked to see places without shishas! The whole area lives on this business, it's a social outlet and way they stay sane. I do however prefer places I take my kids to like Yala Yala to be smoke free.

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 09 November 2012, 00:18

My Pleasure Phoenix, i just couldn't hold my thoughts in any longer. Those who think opposing the ban is ignorant are just ignorant themselves and as ignorant as our politicians in thinking that laws in all countries are black and white. Well no! Ignorance is not understanding that every countries designs it laws with its cultural, social and economical needs. You can go outside for a smoke in paris whe its below zero and return to ur indoor table, but do they expect people in Beirut to walk outside to flooded streets carrying their shisha and then walk back in? Nope, I for one would rather not order a shisha go out and have a smoke than do this! Hence is the law creating more or less smokers? PS:(I dont smoke im just a realist)

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 09 November 2012, 00:24

To Kanaadian, what we are saying if you care to read what i posted above, is the fact that the majority of places affected are not childrens restaurants or malls, they are restaurants KNOWN to be "hookah lounges". If you chose to walk in this place then u are chosing to be there! There has been no consideration of these places which make up nearly 2-3 thousand cafes in the country, and are a big desire to tourists coming to explore our culture and NOT our clean beautiful tree lined avenues (sarcasm) Yeh sure ppl have a right to be smoke free, but i have a right to live in safety with 24/24 electricity without certain ppl holding weapons, whilst if i drive with my windows tinted ill get pulled over and take it off with my nails! I dont see that happening though do I :P

Default-user-icon Leb Citizen (Guest) 09 November 2012, 00:30

And as a centrist, this government in all honesty has done nothing but destroy this nation. If only Lebanese people could vote for "policy" rather than "people" l balad be alf kheir! If you support what Gaby Layoun did in Beirut to the phoenician ruins, Gilber Zouein's (a sorry excuse for a woman) rejection to womans rights, Gebran Bassils private jet with the electricity money, our "improved" telecommunications & now this murder of our social and cultural nightlife then please vote March 8 next elections, IF NOT u dont have to vote march 14 but vote for a policy you believe in, God gave you brains use them.

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