Lebanese People Celebrate the Implementation of Tobacco Control Law 174
Over 1000 Lebanese people celebrated the beginning of the enforcement of Tobacco Control Law 174, on the night before its complete implementation on Sep 2nd in Beirut, Tyr and Byblos. The celebrations, which were organized by IndyACT and supported by Tobacco Free Initiative – TFI, were a clear statement that there is indeed a huge number of people looking forward to this day when all closed public places become smoke free!
In Down Town, Beirut, the event was hosted by Miss Lebanon 2010, Rahaf Abdallah and actor Youssef Haddad, both of which are opponents to smoking. Hosts saluted a number of official personnel who attended among which were representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health and the parliament.
In their speeches, MP Atef Majdalani and TFI’s Vice President; Rania Baroud explained how Tobacco Control law will actually benefit the tourism sector in general and the restaurants in particular.
“Once Hookahs are banned indoors, restaurants will start hosting more of the non-smoking customers including pregnant women, children and families in Lebanon,” said Baroud.
During the night, more than 20 restaurants and cafes received certificates of appreciation from the Ministry of Tourism for applying a smoking ban indoors before Sep 3rd. Brisk, Sushi Circle, Al Dar Bistro & Books, Chateu De Kefraya, Ginette, Zaatar w Zeit, Younis Café, and Lord of the Wings were among them. Restaurant managers and representatives similarly showed great satisfaction upon banning smoking especially when it came to its effects on their profits and regular income.
Later on, the party started as the outstanding Moein Shreif gave one of his best performances and most memorable songs to show support for Law 174.
Music celebrations took Tyr and Byblos by surprise that night as well since citizens were equally content to finally have a law that protected their health in all public interiors from the number one killer reason in Lebanon.
As the clocks stroke 12 am, the crowds counted down the last minutes before the full implementation of Law 174 in all three venues. In Beirut, hosts Youssef Haddad and Rahaf Abdallah joined singer Moein Shreif and super star Maya Diab to anxiously count down what seemed like the beginning of a new year for health and well being.