Saturday 13 November 2010

Don't annoy the Serbs

Yesterday, I suggested that the Serbian smoking ban was not particularly rigorous when compared to the draconian legislation of the English-speaking world. The Serbs, it seems, do not agree.

Tobacco-loving Serbs fume over smoking ban

The article goes on to explain Serbian outrage at a ban that allows smoking in small bars and only requires nonsmoking sections in large bars.

Perhaps it's the use of the word "lamented"in this next sentence, but somehow it paints a more poignant picture than could be captured in any photograph...

Neven Boskovic, a Belgrade cafe owner said he had fewer customers than usual, lamented his empty nonsmoking section — and pointing out his full smoking area.

I vividly recall such a scene in my local pub some years ago when the fiercely anti-smoking landlord decided to introduce a similar revenue-slashing measure.

Of course, you don't have to look far to find the real motive for the Serbian ban...

The law is a "step forward" for the country that aspires to be an EU member, argued Health Minister Tomica Milosavljevic. He said that "it is important that we try to act differently, to reduce the smoke around us."

The EU. Forever encouraging diversity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


My question is: why are these bans so universal?

It doesn't seem to matter what percentage of the population smokes, what the cultural heritage is, whether the regime is totalitarian or democratic, whether it is left or right of centre, whether there is a public health system, or whether the country is wealthy or poor. It seems that almost every country in the world has enacted one form of ban/restriction or another.

It is even more all-pervasive than global warming measures.

We know that it's not driven from a popular or grass-roots movement and that, in most cases, the public is either opposed to or ambivalent in relation to the moves. So, WHY? I must be missing something, here. Do you have a theory?

Thanks for your work.