23 February 2008

Dispatch from Bulgaria

Reporter Blaga Bangieva sends sad news from Bulgaria:
Tobacco smoking in tourist sites to be forbid completely with a law from the start of 2009 are suggesting from Association of Bulgaria tour operators and tour agencies.

In many European countries the ban already exists and this hasn't reflected to the incomes of hoteliers and restaurant owners.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) enters from July 1 only electronic tickets, which will embarrass the activity of tour agencies, because still many air carriers don't offer this kind of services.”

Optimistic won’t effect tourism.
Alas, I know from experience Blaga's optimism is misplaced. Is there anyplace in the world that still welcomes smokers? Yes, India, it turns out. The people there smoke like fiends:
There are 120 million smokers in India, half of them younger than 30, the study found. India has a larger population of smokers than any other country in the world except China.
Not only does India have a solid base of smokers going forward, they are reliable: "Only 2 percent of smokers in India quit the habit." Despite the profusion of snakes and diarhoea I may have to shift my base of operations to tobacco-friendly Bombay.

Bulgaria may be bad, but things are even worse in Germany, where anti-smoking zealots are lashing out violently at innocent smokers:
An angry anti-smoker emptied a fire extinguisher over his girlfriend when she lit a cigarette.

After the woman ignored his request not to smoke, the 42-year-old sprayed the contents of the extinguisher all around her flat in Berlin, shouting abuse, German police said.

"He said he wasn't bothered by the damage it caused," a spokesman said. The couple have now split up. [emphasis added]
Have you ever heard of a cigarette aficionado assaulting a non-smoker for refusing to light up? Of course not. Obviously all the hateful rhetoric of the 'Non’s' has made smokers an acceptable target for violence, even in their own homes.

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