Sunday, September 02, 2007

The smoking ban

There was a discussion on the radio this morning about the smoking ban that is partly in place and is due to start in malls in a couple of weeks.

The general agreement was that it would be a good thing when the mall smoking ban started.

Ha!

Back in June I wrote Smoking ban ain't gonna work.

The reason?

Well for a start, in countries such as Australia, the US, Britain, smoking bans are respected. It's highly unlikely they'll be respected here.

More importantly, they won't be enforced.

As I reported in June, Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said that under the terms of the understanding with the malls, the onus of enforcement would be on the mall management.

"There will be no fines. Malls will be self-regulating," he said, adding that mall employees would have to tell smoking patrons to stub out and direct them to designated smoking areas.

Let me give you two examples of how this works, which I've encountered recently.

A smoking ban is already in place in 'government buildings and educational establishments'. In a coffee shop in Knowledge Village a customer seated inside asked for an ash tray. The coffee shop supervisor told him it was a no-smoking zone by government order. "Khali wali, I am from government" he said, producing a wallet from his trouser pocket and flashing, presumably, a government employee card.

The ash tray was meekly handed over.

Dubai Festival City has proudly announced since its opening that it is a smoke-free zone. Smoking will not be allowed. I was walking behind a man who lit up a cigarette less than two metres in front of a security man...who walked away without a word.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

luck us they are only 17% of the pop .... bad is when expats starting behaving like that...

Seabee said...

They were expats.

shammydharamy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think things will slowly start to work - the smoking ban in DIC seems to work without any problems at all. Malls definitely have a different demographic, but hopefully smoking on the escalators and walkways will slowly be snuffed out. Bur Juman seems to manage fairly well. I can't wait.

Odd that someone who works for the government thinks the rules his employer makes don't apply to him.

Chris Saul.

ZeTallGerman said...

As long as there is a (quite literally) "black & white society", with seperate rules for certain nationalities, this will never work. I am a social smoker and I never smoke in non-smoking sections, but picture this scenario: I was in Bur Juman, and aware of "smoking sections". I saw to young UAE nationals smoking near a bin (those with the ashtry on top) so I stood near the bin and lit a cigarette. Straight away, a security guard appeared out of nowhere, telling me that "there is no smoking here madam." I looked at him, looked at the 2 amused UAE Nationals next to me and said "if you tell them to stub it out, so will I." You can guess what happened.... absolutely nothing.

ZeTallGerman said...

As long as there is a (quite literally) "black & white society", with seperate rules for certain nationalities, this will never work. I am a social smoker and I never smoke in non-smoking sections, but picture this scenario: I was in Bur Juman, and aware of "smoking sections". I saw to young UAE nationals smoking near a bin (those with the ashtry on top) so I stood near the bin and lit a cigarette. Straight away, a security guard appeared out of nowhere, telling me that "there is no smoking here madam." I looked at him, looked at the 2 amused UAE Nationals next to me and said "if you tell them to stub it out, so will I." You can guess what happened.... absolutely nothing.

Anonymous said...

To zetalgermann, you shouldnt compare yourself to UAE nationals because it is their country and they have the right to do what they want.

Seabee said...

anon@7.43, you forgot to finish the sentence. It should be "...do what they want as long as it is within the law.

ZeTallGerman said...

I agree with seabee. anon@7.43, that's exactly the point I was making: that UAE nationals regard themselves as "above the law". So no wonder expatriates react "sourly". What an exiting world it would be, if this were the case in every country (Germans doing what THEY want in Germany, Brits in the UK, etc.)

zetallgerman said...

On this topic, seabee: I was in Festival City 2 days ago (BTW: gorgeous outside restaurants are now open "al fresco" along their Canal Walk, highly recommended!) and I was surprised to see the security guard tell 3 gentlemen (2 Iranian, later 1 Brit) to please put out their cigarettes, and that they are welcome to smoke outside. I guess many people are simply not aware of the ban (there are signs everywhere, but hey - the shops & bling-bling are distracting after all :-) But until I actually see a UAE National being "told off" for smoking, I won't believe the ban is actually working...

Anonymous said...

another anonymous said "the smoking ban in DIC seems to work without any problems at all"

- i am in the new BT building (near knowledge village) and i have had no end of problems with morons from a nearby company smoking in the fire escapes. The security do nothing. Fortunately partner relations sorted it.

I've also had problems food establishments elsewhere in last month or two. One fat woman smoking away right in front of staff at a fast food place. I even pointed her out to them and they just shrugged. So i went to get a security guard who did tell her to put it out.

The problem with smokers is they are fat, lazy and ignorant people. This fat bitch was sitting about 6 metres from a door but was too lazy and inconsiderate to leave the restaurant and take her fat ass and filthy habit outside.

I personally think reducing tar in fags was a mistake. I vote they put it all back and add in some arsenic and cyanide for good measure. If people are going to kill themselves, let's make it quicker and easier for them.