Jordan Bans Smoking Behind Glass Houses

The new cabinet isn’t the only funny thing happening around town this week. Another funny political joke I’ve heard recently actually took place in the final days of Salah Al-Muwajdeh as minister of health, who announced that smoking in public places such as the airport, malls and tourist-related restaurants will be banned starting the first of March.

And while that’s great that they’re finally getting around to implementing the law (at least for the next four months) I don’t think I need to point out the punchline here.

In a country where nearly every government employee can be found casually smoking in smoke-filled public-sector spaces as they interact with the everyday citizen. In a country where police officers blow smoke in your face in smoke-filled police stations and will either offer you one or pawn one off of you. In a country where the environment rangers who have the “power” to fine you for smoking can be seen smoking in their own cars. In a country where public sector doctors and judges and nurses and security guards, all smoke carefree in front of a wall that is cluttered with non-smoking signs…

In this kind of country: what the heck do you expect the everyday citizen to do when they’re at the airport, a mall or a restaurant?

In this kind of country, I’m forced to wonder what exactly were lawmakers smoking when they dreamt up this policy?

Clean up your own house first.


  • you should raise children who are more aware…at least the will save you of the implementing shit,which never seems to work around here…but good first step..why the hell is it tourist concerned? what about university’s…government buildings?

  • Someone from the Restaurant committee told me that the Hooka (Argeela) will not be included in the law. So when you go dinning, you cant smoke a cigarette but can get shoked by the smoke of Argeela…interesting. I wonder how people will respect the law, itwill be our 24/7 fasting Ramadan attiude!

  • I’m a bit torn between ‘people making their own life decisions and living with the consequences’ or ‘people being told what’s good for them’.

    I think governments should stick to educating the public and keeping it out of the hands of the young and impressionable. But when smoking is so culturally ingrained,i guess its was important for the government to take some stringent action.

  • Wasn’t there already smoking ban a few months ago? So, no smoking at the airport, malls and tourist-related restaurants? What is a tourist-related restaurant? That could mean anything.

    I’d like to SEE no smoking at Mecca Mall. I’d like to SEE no smoking at City Mall. They claim it’s “no smoking” at City Mall, but that excludes the food court.
    Who’s going to enforce this? I guess it all looks pretty when it’s planned out on paper. Reality is another story. ha

    Let’s save the lungs of tourists, but let’s pollute ourselves with the water (2/26/09 Jordan Times)

  • I wish if all the countries close down all the smoke factories , and let the environment and all the creatures to find a good air to breath.

    All the smokers should join

  • Hi i’m a college student in the U.S. I like this post about banning smoking in public places. I do agree that this law probably wouldn’t work by what you have said in your post. In the U.S. most states have banned smoking in restaurants which i think is great.

  • I guess the ban has been in effect for a month now. I’m curious to know how it’s gone. Does anyone know if it’s made any difference in government buildings? Malls? Anywhere else?

    I sincerely hope that we finally get to a point where our lungs, and our children’s lungs are not poisoned every time we step out of our homes in Jordan.

  • Passive smoking kills nearly 600,000 people each year! 60% of Jordan children are passive smokers! VERY Alarming!

    Please guys we have created a Smoke Free Amman group on Facebook.. Join and lets work on it!

    A one strong voice to end the passive smoking sufferings, and declare Amman as a SMOKE FREE CITY

    * PLEASE JOIN* and Speak your mind

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