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smoking ban

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Instead of being famous worldwide for its amazing features such the beautiful nature, hospitable people, international achievers and vast historical and cultural heritage, Lebanon is infamous for its wars and divisions. Recently another topic caused further divisions in the Lebanese society: the law prohibiting smoking in public places. In a country plagued with security, social, economical and political problems, the Lebanese government decided to tackle the public smoking issue and laid down the law number 174, starting the summer of 2012. The law states that smoking is prohibited in all closed public places such the hospitals, universities and schools, government and business facilities, and hospitality enterprises like restaurants, pubs, cafes, malls and such; people found disobeying the law will be fined along with the establishment in case the latter turns a blind eye. The law allows indoor smoking at restaurants as long as there is a physical separation between the smoking and non-smoking areas. As with every other issue in Lebanon, the new law divided the Lebanese community into two groups; one opposed the law, especially when it is forced in the hospitality venues like restaurants and pubs because most of the restaurants don’t have the ability to have two separate seating areas, while the other favored it execution. Despite the importance of implementing law 174 in public places, this law should not be forced on all hospitality organizations especially the restaurants, pubs and cafes, instead special licenses should be issued to such organizations to allow indoor smoking. Banning smoking in restaurants and pubs can have a negative effect on the Lebanese economy that relies heavily on tourism and hospitality. [ADD SOME STATISTICS on Lebanon revenues]. Forcing restaurants and pubs to ban smoking in their establishments is an infringement of the owners’ rights. Despite the numerous hazards of smoking, smoking itself is not an illegal act. Restaurants,...