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Smoking Banned in Bhutan; 1st SmokeFree Nation

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posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 08:25 PM
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slate.msn.com...


If you're indignant that your boss just shut the smoking room and outraged that you have to leave the bar to light up, take heart. Life could be worse. You could be Bhutanese.

The tiny, trendy Himalayan kingdom recently became the world's first nonsmoking nation. Since Dec. 17, it has been illegal to smoke in public or sell tobacco. Violators are fined the equivalent of $232—more than two months' salary in Bhutan. Authorities heralded the ban by igniting a bonfire of cigarette cartons in the capital, Thimphu, and stringing banners across the main thoroughfare, exhorting people to kick the habit. As if they have a choice.

Meddling with an issue as personal as smoking is always tricky, and politicians err at their own peril. Yet Bhutan's ban appears to be sticking and with little public outcry. Even the country's smokers seem resigned to a smoke-free future. "If you can't get it, you can't smoke it," concludes Tshewang Dendup, who works for Bhutan's only broadcaster. He picked up his smoking habit while studying at Berkeley, but says he is now rapidly "downsizing" his consumption.

So, how has Bhutan managed to pull off a nationwide smoking ban while other nations dither? Bhutan is a Buddhist nation, and many Buddhists believe smoking is bad for their karma. Then again, Sri Lanka and Thailand are also predominantly Buddhist, and plenty of people smoke there.

The answer lies not in Bhutan's religion but in its famous quirkiness. This is a country that has elevated contrariness to a national trait. Convention says an impoverished yet stunningly beautiful nation like Bhutan should welcome tourists with open arms—and count the dollars. Yet Bhutan restricts the number of foreign tourists (about 9,000 last year) and charges fees of $200 per day.


Well if any country in the world could have success with this type of ban, Bhutan would be. As a someone battling addiction, maybe moving Bhutan would be the solution, like the guy said, if you can't get it, then you won't smoke it. I know this type of ban would never work in the USA or any other Western country for that matter.




posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 08:36 PM
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It would never work in our society, as soon as its banned its going to go onto the black market and increase crime, and not to mention the public outcry. Though, here in America we'll probally find something new to kill us and get addicted to.



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 08:45 PM
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These people have lost their minds!

One place off of my list to visit: Bhutan! *cough*,*cough*

*cough* Damn! Maybe I need to move to Bhutan! *cough*, *cough*, *spit*



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 08:57 PM
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It's also been banned in Ontario. You can still smoke outside, but not that anyone would want to. Subzero temperatures.



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by websurfer
It's also been banned in Ontario. You can still smoke outside, but not that anyone would want to. Subzero temperatures.


that's nothing compared to this, in Bhutan you can't even smoke outside anymore, no one is supposed to even be selling tobacco anymore.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 04:02 AM
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I remember reading about this a while ago. They still have a way to go if my memory is correct. Chewing tobacco and snuff is still legal and foriegners in the country and coming into the country are allowed to smoke.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 04:15 AM
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Thanks. I'll cross Bhutan off my countries to visit list.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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It may never get to that in America, yet in the state of Delaware, smoking is banned in all public places.

And get this: there's no punishment for smoking in public. Rather, if you are seen smoking, someone else will call this 800 number and report the place that you were smoking in. Then the owner of that establishment is required to pay a fine.

This isn't a matter of health issues. This is a matter of freedom: if people want to fill their lungs with cancer, it's their business, so the government needs to butt out and worry about the war.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 11:29 PM
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I for one aplaud the Bhutanese government for doing it.
While I do believe in freedom of choice, I also believe that things that hurt your body like Tobacco, Alchohol and drugs should not be classified as a freedom.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 11:35 PM
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Not surprising really. Bhutan is probably THE most isolated country in the world. I mean, they just allowed television in 1999. And to those who are crossing Bhutan off your visiting list, don't worry, you probably wouldn't have been allowed in anyway. The Bhutanese government only lets in a few foreigners each year, and charges them something like 200 dollars a day.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by iori_komei
I for one aplaud the Bhutanese government for doing it.
While I do believe in freedom of choice, I also believe that things that hurt your body like Tobacco, Alchohol and drugs should not be classified as a freedom.


So the government should tell people what they can and cannot put inside their own bodies now?



posted on Jan, 24 2005 @ 12:11 AM
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Yeah but i bet mary jane or hashish is leagal there , lol

Check it out, did you know most arab countries are alcohol free yet regularly consome hash on a daily basis...?


[edit on 24-1-2005 by lizzardsamok]



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 12:32 AM
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The tiny, trendy Himalayan kingdom recently became the world's first nonsmoking nation. Since Dec. 17, it has been illegal to smoke in public or sell tobacco.

It's not clear from the article whether smoking in your own home is illegal. But with the ban on selling cigarettes, it would be tough to obtain them. I foresee many tobacco shops on the border with India.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 12:39 AM
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I hope smoking in public is not going too be passed in Canada. . .

But if it does. I'm going to sit on the edge of my property and smoke right beside the sidewalk.
Just to piss people off.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 12:50 AM
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I guess thats what can happen if your country is run by a nonsmoking King.

BTW if you are a Gay smoker I really advise you to stay away from Bhutan.

Male homosexual sex is forbidden by law, punishable with a maximum sentence of life in prison.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:02 AM
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Jedimaster,
If its dangerous for your health, than yes.

I dont think I'll go to Bhuutan if HomoSexuality is forbidden, I wont go to any country where there is not freedom for everyone no matter what, its bad enough I have to live here in America.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:27 AM
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Originally posted by iori_komei


I dont think I'll go to Bhuutan if HomoSexuality is forbidden, I wont go to any country where there is not freedom for everyone no matter what, its bad enough I have to live here in America.


And people thought not letting them get married was bad in the US.

Some other interesting laws in Buhtan I found

KHA 2-5: Whichever post a Bhutanese citizen held prior to marriage with a non-Bhutanese or prior to June 11, 1977, such a person shall not be granted promotion beyond the post he held from the date of marriage with the non-Bhutanese or after June 11, 1977.
(So much for a glass ceiling that ones made out of brick and razor wire)


KHA 2-6: Any Bhutanese citizen employed in the national defence department or in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be removed from such services if he/she is married to a non-Bhutanese. No Bhutanese shall be employed in these two departments if married to a non-Bhutanese.
(wouldnt want anyone stealing that Bhutanese military tech we all want)


KHA 2-9: If a non-Bhutanese married to a Bhutanese citizen is allowed to live in the kingdom, then, he/she shall not be permitted to preach other religion or start a new religion except the religion of the kingdom of Bhutan.
(keeps the cults in check I bet)


www.bhutannewsonline.com...



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:39 AM
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Authorities heralded the ban by igniting a bonfire of cigarette cartons in the capital, Thimphu


We want our citizens to be healthier!! To show this, we will burn MILLIONS of cigarettes in a bonfire for public celebration and allow our beloved citizens to inhale the second hand smoke of those very cigarettes. That's actually really funny...



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 03:03 AM
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How insane. Like i said in another post, i would keep right on smoking. I'm sure this law in the US would fall under the Patriot Act or some insane thing.
My basement is ready. i will be breaking every law known to mankind there


Party, anyone?



[edit on 27-1-2005 by dgtempe]



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 03:35 AM
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Did they really call Bhtan "trendy"? Ha...now that 's funny.

I'd use backwards or isolationist. And that doesn't really have anything to do with this smoking thing.



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