Thank You For Smoking

There’s been talk recently of Lebanon joining the ranks of civilized countries and banning smoking in public places. Although I think there’s a litany of more important issues to legislate, no harm could come of this. But I’m still highly skeptical they’ll have any success in enforcing any laws that come into effect. I’ve seen people smoke in hospitals and petrol stations here. Enough said.

I remember when they banned smoking indoors in the UK. There was general outrage at the curtailing of personal freedoms and the pervasiveness of the Nanny State. But I secretly enjoyed the ban. I’m a social smoker at most. I’ll have a cigarette if there’s a pack lying around on a table at dinner or a bar at happy hour. And being forced to go out into the cold to have a smoke meant I picked these moments far more carefully. Plus the Lebanese don’t have much to complain about, its sunny 9 months a year. Oh and for all those single and ready to mingle, there’s no greater camaraderie than that of a huddled mass of smokers outside a cafe.

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