Iraqis have mixed reaction to anti-smoking law

A new law in Iraq prohibits smoking in public buildings and many businesses. [Mohammed Ameen/Reuters]

A new law in Iraq prohibits smoking in public buildings and many businesses. [Mohammed Ameen/Reuters]

  • COMMENT 50
  • Print this article
  • increase decrease

The recent law banning smoking in public places, approved by the Iraqi parliament last week, has generated a mixed reaction among citizens.

Some citizens praised the new law while others called it a "restriction on freedoms".

The law, which was passed February 2nd, bans smoking inside government institutions, such as ministries, offices, and commissions, and private entities, such as companies, factories, theatres, cinema houses, hotels, clubs, restaurants, meeting and assembly halls, offices, commercial markets, fuel stations, and public and private transport facilities.

People caught smoking in public places will be fined 10,000 dinars ($8).

Government offices and private companies must designate specific smoking areas that are located at a suitable distance from non-smokers. Violators of this regulation will be fined 250,000 Dinars ($200).

Law aims to protect non-smokers

"The law does not violate any freedoms," said Hassan al-Jubury, member of parliament's health and environment committee.

"We do not prohibit smoking, but we are trying to limit this practice in a civilised way so that a smoker will not threaten the health of others who are non-smokers, and inflict harm on them," he told Mawtani.

Dr. Mohammad Jabur Huwail, deputy director general of public health, told Mawtani the new anti-smoking law will "support our efforts to curb smoking, which are focused on raising awareness and education through the media on the dangers of this practice and its negative effects on public health and the environment."

"The last survey the ministry conducted showed that the percentage of smokers between the ages of 25 and 65 years is 21%. Among men, it is about 30% while among women it is less than 10%," Huwail said.

"The rate of mortality among those suffering from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and respiratory infections, as a direct result of smoking, or indirect inhalation of cigarette or water hookahs [shisha] smoke, ranges between 60% and 80%, depending on the severity and type of the disease."

Citizens weigh in

Samer Ahmad, 46, said, "I suffer from chronic respiratory problems. I quit smoking a long time ago after my health deteriorated, but I have not recovered fully. I am often surrounded by the smoke of smokers whether it is in a bus, at work, or even at a public place."

"I wish there would be regular monitoring and enforcement of the law so that it will produce tangible results."

Abeer Laith, 29, said, "There are many posters inside the bank where I work urging people not to smoke, but many of the customers will not discard their cigarettes until they are personally asked to do so."

"Smoking in public places is considered an uncivilised practice, and smokers are subjected to the rule of law in civilised countries. We should enforce all the steps and effective measures to curb smoking."

Shaker Jalil, 37, a smoker, said he was dismayed with the passage of the law.

"Have all our problems ended and there is nothing left but smoking as the only problem?" he asked. "Officials should find speedy solutions for problems such as electricity, services, and unemployment before thinking about banning smoking."

Furat Abbas, 35, who owns a restaurant in Karrada, said, "I serve my customers shisha after they finish eating and make good money from that. The new law will hurt me and others like me because it bans smoking of flavoured tobacco in restaurants."

Mohammad Waleed, 31, said, "The law contradicts the articles of the constitution because it places excessive restrictions on personal freedoms by banning smoking even in restaurants, assembly halls, and social clubs."

ADD A COMMENT (COMMENT POLICY) * DENOTES REQUIRED FIELD

* DENOTES REQUIRED FIELD

Test
  • READER COMMENTS

    جواد محمد

    2012-3-22

    Smoking in public places in front of the children is one of the negative phenomena that we completely reject, as it may cause them to suffocate, as well as other harms. Consequently, it affects the public health, especially while the children’s lungs are small and their immune system is less developed. This makes them more vulnerable to being infected in the respiratory system and in both ears, due to the smoke they inhale from the smoker. When the children see smokers, they think that it is a nice habit. Therefore, parents should do their best to keep their children away from cigarette smoke. I support the idea that is concerned with banning smoking in the public places, and we should be committed to this idea and to punishing all those who transgress this law, so that everybody could be committed to it. This law should be in effect at all the state departments and in the public places, restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, schools, hospitals, cars, and on buses and planes.

  • بدران سليم

    2012-3-22

    Smoking is an unhealthy phenomenon in the first place, and it is a harmful and bad habit that causes diseases such as cancer and chest diseases, as well as heart and lung diseases. Smoking harms those who do not smoke more than the smokers themselves; it produces what is called secondhand smoke. So what is the case if this happens in the public places, coffee houses and cafeterias?

  • Max

    2012-3-19

    Smoking in public places is something very serious and very negative. This is because, other than the fact that the smoker hurts himself, he also hurts others in a number of ways. This could be by the smoke emanating from the cigarette, by compromising his health and by polluting the environment as well. In my opinion, the negative action, or more precisely, the wrong action, affects not only the one who is doing it, but it also affects others. When smoking in public places, closed environments and some transportation systems, especially public ones, was criminalized by some governments, we noted a decrease in diseases in general, especially those caused by smoking. Why would one confine his pleasure to a cigarette? Why would one reduce himself and his pleasure to inhaling unpleasant smoke, produced as a result of burning tobacco? Why would one kill himself, and why would he also insist on killing others who inhale the air polluted by cigarette smoke? Can the smoker be considered an unwitting murderer, without him knowing about it and without being accountable for this crime? Many smokers die every day due to this very dreadful habit: smoking. Many more innocent people die due to secondhand smoking. It is necessary to prohibit and criminalize smoking in public places and on public transportation, so that we can eliminate this phenomenon, or temper its negative effects at the very least, especially on non-smokers, who do not deserve to die because of the irresponsibility and actions on the part of others.

  • عبدالغني

    2012-3-17

    I'm one of the people who hate smoking. I pray to God Most High Almighty, for smoking to get extinct on earth because it brings only diseases or lack of money. I respect the opinion of Saudi Arabia when they banned smoking in public places and where people are present largely. God willing, I wish health and safety for each smoker.

  • معين كاكا

    2012-3-17

    Smoking in public places is one of the uncivilized issues because it annoys the normal citizen. These things are unlikable; they lead to very big problems. The smoker has the freedom to smoke in open places and where families are not present and are not crowded. Those things could be one of the reasons why people have congestion and difficulty in breathing; they lead to potential danger. The smoker has to think about others before thinking about himself; smokers are the most disturbing people because the smell is very bad. The smoker gets used to a bad thing; a lack of respect. In my opinion, the smoker should be in the car or in the department or in any other respectful place and be away from people in order not to bring them harm.

  • مسلم علي

    2012-3-17

    I refuse such inappropriate practices, which don’t harmonize with the state of development and modernity in Iraq. Smoking in public places is one of the negative phenomena that blackens the image of the community and violates people’s right. All smokers should respect these opinions and stop smoking in public places. I demand relevant bodies to specify places for smoking either at government department, restaurants or any public place, in order to avoid the dangerous consequences of smoking, and thus protect public health and taste to get rid of this phenomenon, which has spread all over Iraq. I hope not to see it again in our society.

  • عامر هيثم

    2012-3-17

    To smoke in public places is unwelcome and an uncivilized phenomenon. On the contrary, it indicates the extent of backwardness, lack of respect and inconsideration of non-smokers’ feelings. First, smoking in public places causes a lot of damage to public health because it causes pain and problem to a lot of patients who suffer from various respiratory diseases such as asthma, angina and heart diseases. Smokers should take into account such people and the issue of public taste as well. I'm against smoking in public places. Such behavior is completely unacceptable because public places are not for smoking but rather for the convenience of the public. However, I see a lot of these negative cases. Smokers should stop smoking in public places. I am not against those who smoke because it is a personal matter, but I do not really like to see that smokers abuse public taste in public or entertainment places, restaurants, or even in the means of transportation. That is not a suitable behavior. I hope all smokers will be considerate of non-smokers, respect their feelings and consider the health situation of some patients.

  • جاسم

    2012-3-14

    I urge all the smokers to stop smoking in public places, where a huge number of people gather or in private places where smoking is banned. They should show respect for others because public places are not owned by anyone and everyone can act freely but politely.

  • علي علوان الفتلاوي

    2012-3-14

    Smoking is generally one of the more disgusting habits. A lot of people smoke in public places, ignoring the thought that they disturb a lot of citizens, among which may be patients with allergy or asthma. We should be considerate of others. When a smoker wants to smoke, he should find a suitable place to do so, not in a hospital, school or any important place. I admire the system in western countries, where they ban smoking in public places like workplaces, schools or any public areas. However, they can smoke outside the building or away from people in order for them not to cause harm to others. They also ban smoking inside the house because it pollutes the house and the environment as well as causing harm to the health. The smoker is supposed to smoke in an open place. They act as if they are abiding by the Islamic teachings but, unfortunately, Muslims do not have these ideas. In my opinion, the smoker should think of others before he thinks of himself and he should prevent harm towards other people. I advise the Iraqis who smoke cigarettes to try not to smoke in public places, especially in cars with a huge number of people. It is disturbing to see someone smoke in a car full of passengers. It is such an uncivilized behavior and I consider it to be an impolite act.

  • بديع راضي

    2012-3-13

    I reject smoking in public places, because this is contrary to the general manners and the proper respect for others. In addition, I believe that smoking in public places can cause health problems for the non-smokers, especially the elderly, who suffer from many problems to begin with. Hence, I call on all the smokers to comply with the laws that were issued by the state in this respect, and we should not impose our own behaviors on others. I reject and oppose smoking in public places, and I criticize those who engage in this bad practice, because it does not fit the reputation of the Iraqi citizen, who is known for culture and awareness. We have to hold all those who smoke in public places accountable, but I hope that we will not get to this stage. Rather, I hope that all smokers will abide by the principles of etiquette and respect for others. Smoking in public places is blameworthy and rejected behavior. We cannot tolerate heavy smoking in the restaurants, on the means of public transportation and in other locations. Hence, I believe that such people are addicts, because this addiction makes them confiscate the freedoms of others, and this cannot be tolerated in our society.

  • فهمي عدنان

    2012-3-13

    Despite the fact that smoking can be classified as a matter of personal freedom, I reject all the practices that harm public health, including smoking in public places. I believe that the public places do not belong to anyone to give him the right to do whatever he likes in them. Rather, the public places are public property; that is why they are called public places. Therefore, we have to consider the public manners and take the others’ feelings into consideration.

  • ZZZ

    2012-3-13

    First, we cannot deny that smoking is very harmful to the public health; it leads to many diseases that destroy one’s health, and wastes his money, which will be spent on these lethal poisons.

  • بركات ناصر

    2012-3-13

    To be honest, I am a smoker; I have been smoking for about 10 years. I am aware of the fact that smoking causes a lot of harm to public health, but I cannot stop smoking. Smoking is indeed a negative phenomenon, which I hope I will be able to get over in the near future in order to preserve my health and the public’s health as well. I respect public taste and I am against those who smoke in public places or on public means of transportation because this causes a lot of harm to other citizens. I commit to such laws and regulations because I am considerate of others’ feelings and respect the principles of public taste. Even though smoking causes much harm, it is still a personal matter. Everyone is best aware of what harms or benefits him. It is up to the person whether or not to quit smoking. I am one of those who hopes to quit smoking, but I cannot, at least at the moment. The same is true for a lot of people who are used to smoking because they believe it gives them psychological comfort. In the end it is a personal matter, but it is important to take public taste into consideration.

  • زامل

    2012-3-12

    The public places are the property of everyone and we must take this into account. I think that the issue of smoking in public places practiced by some is considered as one of the negative activities that must be rejected. I do not wish to see some people not taking into account the feelings of others, especially since some of the affected people may be sick with some respiratory diseases and, therefore, must be considered. I also criticize smoking in public places because it is offensive to others and does a lot of damage to some of the people who do not smoke. For instance, you will see that many people are smoking in tourist areas or in restaurants. That is where you should be respectful of the feelings of others around you. The State must issue laws that prohibit smoking in public places in order to get rid of this negative phenomenon, which is rejected by many.

  • نظير

    2012-3-9

    I think that smoking in public places is unpleasant for many citizens, especially for children and women, the sick and those suffering from difficulty in breathing, so it is very important to be alert and warn people not to smoke in public places. This can be through advertisements and pamphlets that are placed everywhere to be read and complied with in order to preserve the environment from the risk of contamination, and also keep the health and safety of citizens from the risk of suffocation and smoke inhalation, which causes trouble, particularly for patients with asthma and pregnant mothers. So, the feelings, health and safety of people should be taken into account not to harm them, and to respect their presence in public places so as not to subject one to dangerous diseases and smokers should pay attention to their health and reduce smoking in order to preserve their health and safety because smoking causes diseases of the heart, lungs and arteries. Pamphlets must be put out to warn about smoking in public places, especially in restaurants, clubs, cafeterias, shops, airplanes, cars, buses and other places such as hospitals, schools and departments and a lot of other places where there are people and therefore are considered public places, and some places should be allocated only for smokers.

  • زهدي سالم

    2012-3-8

    Smoking in public places is unacceptable, as it harms people and threatens their life. We must pay heed to this aspect. In fact, public places are the property of all people, and we have to respect non-smokers and not take advantage of the situation in order to behave freely and in a way that is harmful to others. Therefore, it is necessary to put up signs to warn smokers against smoking in public places, in order to preserve the health and hygiene of citizens, especially the non-smokers, mainly in restaurants, coffee shops, planes, buses, hospitals, governmental departments, commercial markets and even in houses. Indeed, smoking in public places leads to greater harm, mainly for children, pregnant women and those who suffer from respiratory diseases. They can be the cause of harmful asphyxia, as smoke is more harmful to non-smokers.

  • صباح

    2012-3-8

    We must keep away from smoking, because it causes diseases of the heart, lungs and arteries. It also leads to infertility. In addition to this, smoking is associated with a bad and unpleasant smell. Therefore, smoking is an unhealthy phenomenon and we must eradicate it to preserve a pure environment, mainly in public places, and this is for the safety of all people and as a way of showing respect for non-smokers. We must also reserve smoking areas, so the non-smokers do not feel disturbed.

  • نصير

    2012-3-7

    Among the risks of smoking in public places is the fact that the smoker harms the people surrounding him in the place, through the damage of the bad habit, smoking, and especially if there are children in the same place. The issue is not only a problem in terms of the health damage caused by the smoke for the people in the area; it is also an uncivilized behavior that is not consistent with our communities and our religion. Apart from the vast amount of health damage to the general public, caused by smoking in public places, the smoker conveys a negative image to the people around him, and especially the children, through the way they look surrounded by smoke. They are possibly printing an image in the mind of the child that will expose these children to a behavior that is unacceptable. The person who smokes in public places does not care about those around him, especially children, nor about causing serious harm to the people around him. Smoking in public places is one of the phenomena that really require a deterrent law to confront and eliminate it, and all the efforts must be combined to stand in the face of this phenomenon, for the safety of the community from the risks posed and the health damage caused by it, and especially what might affect the children who are exposed to being in places with smokers. The smoker in public places is guilty of harming society; he may not be aware of the fact that he is committing a punishable crime, but this does not negate the harm caused to his society.

  • عثمان الدورسري

    2012-3-7

    There is no doubt that the spread of ideas of al-Qaeda is disastrous for the international community. Of course, there are members of the organization and the only ones who believe that what they are doing is the right thing, and that the killing of innocent people and destroying public and private property that they are doing is for a higher goal that others do not know. Over the years, al-Qaeda has been trying to disseminate its subversive ideas, taking advantage of religion, claiming that its goal is only to uphold the word of religion and the victory of Islam. Over the years, al Qaeda has been making every possible effort to promote its ideas on the international level to gain support from those who support it in the implementation of its plans, and to attract new members to expand their base. Those false ideas have nothing to do with what they claim, saying that this is their approach. It has become clear all their goals and intentions are unrelated to Islam. Al-Qaeda implements what is dictated to them by their financiers, who support their destructive ideas and their terrorist actions with the force of arms to achieve their political goals, which aim not only to impose their influence, but also to control the reins of power and govern the country in any way, and whatever the consequences of murder and sabotage may be. Al-Qaeda seeks to spread its ideas, and the spread of corruption and ignorance in some societies through which they claim their ideas helps them do so.

  • ابو سلام

    2012-3-7

    Smoking in public places is a negative phenomenon and it indicates an uncivilized appearance. It cause harm to people, especially patients, children and pregnant women. Therefore, it is very necessary to work on keeping this phenomenon from spreading in public and closed places where people gather in large numbers, in addition to the parks. Also, it is important to install signs that warn citizens not to smoke in these places. Smokers should go to places specified for this purpose, as in a lot of countries which respect the privacy of places where there are a lot of people, especially children, such as buses, planes, restaurants, cafeterias, departments, hospitals and other places. Smoking in itself causes harm to smokers and all who are around them. It has been demonstrated that smoking causes harm to non-smokers more than smokers themselves.

  • علاء صدقي

    2012-3-7

    A smoker should be considerate of other people’s feelings, especially when he smokes in the house among his children and a pregnant wife. Why should they suffer from the cigarette smoke, particularly if someone has asthma, and this person is susceptible to being suffocated as a result of being unable to breathe properly? The smoker causes himself a lot of harm especially when he smokes heavily. It has been demonstrated that smoking causes a lot of dangerous diseases, such as cardiovascular and lung diseases. Also, it causes teeth to fall and results in a very bad smell, which repulses a lot of people. Smoking in public places in an uncivilized phenomenon disturbs and causes harm to a lot of people. This phenomenon should be brought to an end by abiding by the law that prohibits smoking in all public places, so they will remain pure and unpolluted. Then, we can enjoy natural, fresh and pure air.

  • نبيل عبدالقهار

    2012-3-4

    I reject the process of smoking completely, whether in public or private places, because it causes pollution to the clean and pure atmosphere and the foul smell and side effects have a significant impact on the overall health of the citizens. This includes both the smokers and non-smokers. The latter are affected by the smoke exhaled by the cigarette smokers, especially in public places while inside moving cars and inside traveling buses, which are dependent on the central ventilation, that transport a large number of people. It becomes contaminated because of the cigarettes smoked by the passengers, leading to the discomfort of the other people caused by the air pollution. Also, smoking causes other damages to employees who sit in rooms or closed halls in the government departments such as banks and others, which include a number of employees who are sitting in one place as well as waiting rooms where the visitors to the government departments wait for the completion of the pending official interactions. This exposes a lot of non-smokers to various diseases, most important of which at the present time are respiratory diseases such as asthma, coughing and shortness of breath as well as exposure to cancer, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. All of this is a result of what some of the smokers, who lack good taste and good morals, are doing which makes them violate the freedom of other people who are exposed to harm caused by smoking.

  • هيمان علي

    2012-3-4

    I address all of those who are accustomed to the phenomenon of smoking that they should fear God and drop this bad habit. Every human being should get rid of these bad habits and social practices that harm other people. They should not harm the members of society by smoking in public places. They should respect their privacy and work to get rid of this phenomenon that the whole world agrees on as being a cause of death and destruction to millions of people each year due to exposure to smoking. At the same time, it leads to the large financial loss of people because of buying packs of cigarettes that are burned on an ongoing basis without any benefit.

  • موسى فلاح

    2012-3-4

    Smoking has great and many dangers. The smoker should at least think of those around him and not only about himself, because if he smokes, he will harm those living around him more than he harms himself. That is because the smoker breathes when he blows the smoke out, and it is more harmful for those who sit around him than it is for the smoker himself. Therefore, smoking is the main cause of cancer, lung and cardiovascular diseases.

  • كدحت

    2012-3-4

    Smoking is a difficult and disturbing matter, and the addicted person should quit smoking. Therefore, there should be organizations working in the field of fighting smoking, as well as sanatoriums contributing to treating the addicted people, especially among the youth. It is very important for the phenomenon of fighting and treating smoking to be a global phenomenon, and not to be limited to only one country. We wish that the phenomenon of smoking could be a matter that is finished and will not return; but this is a mere dream, because there are a lot of addicted people who cannot quit smoking. They can do without food, but they cannot do without smoking. What we notice about the smoker when he abstains from smoking is that he feels a very great pain in his head as a result of preventing the nicotine material from entering the body. The body has become addicted to this material, and he is suffering greatly from the lack of nicotine. That's why he is behaving in a nervous way and cannot stand even himself. Therefore, smoking is considered a very serious matter, and it works on eroding the human body internally and leads to osteoporosis as well as the existence of many diseases, tiredness, fatigue, idleness, laziness and slowing down in performing work, as well as blocking the appetite and refusing food, as well as the bad smell that accompanies the person, even in his sweat, and the dyspnea. The person cannot practice sports or run in the proper or correct way that is required from the normal person.

  • عمر فارس

    2012-3-4

    Smoking is an unhealthy phenomenon and causes a lot of cancerous diseases, as well as infertility, atherosclerosis and lung diseases. Also the excessive presence of smoke in the mouth is a reason behind the relaxation of the jaw bones and teeth, which causes the teeth to continuously fall out. This is what we see happening to many of the youth. Addiction to smoking leads to very great losses in the financial aspect, and if we supposed that the expenses of smoking were collected for one year, it would be a very large amount of money that is being wasted instead of fulfilling a most important aspect in this hard life and very cruel conditions.

  • غانم صاد

    2012-3-3

    The phenomenon of smoking in public places is an uncivilized and indecent act. It is not possible that the Arab countries experience some kind of failure, and each place has its sacredness. Smoking in public places is bad and unhealthy. It may cause a lot of damage as there could be a sick person no one knows about who could have an attack due to the smoke and the only one responsible is the smoker. Smoking is not necessary and I am one of the people who hate smoking as it causes harm to one’s health and money. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that have prohibited smoking in the markets and public places in order to preserve the environment and keep it clean and in order to make its appearance more beautiful. In my opinion, smoking in public places is uncivilized and it makes a person smell bad no matter what. There are some non-respectful people who fill the place with smoke and that is shameful, and I hope that cigarettes become extinct.

  • وليد جلال

    2012-3-2

    I would like to say to the smoker that if you do not fear for yourself or your health, you should fear for the health of your children as well as the health of other people who suffered because of the cigarettes that you smoke. You must consider other people and quit smoking in public places. You must quit this abhorrent habit that is harmful to your health and the health of other people in order to achieve the impossible in you through a strong will and determination that will make you reach what you want in order to respect the rights of who are affected by the smoke. You can get rid of this habit in order to maintain your health and the health of others. Smoking affects the respiratory tract and stomach as well as exposure to deadly diseases. The money that you paid for the cigarettes can instead be spent on your family.

  • شعيب مهدي

    2012-3-2

    Anyone who practices the obnoxious habit of smoking in public places, I think, is a person who is not responsible and does not respect others. He does not take into account their feelings because he is acting foolishly and lacking ethics. However, his action leads to the exposure of people sitting near him to the harm of passive smoking because of the long and repeated stays in these places. These irresponsible smokers are smoking in closed rooms such as in the office or in the bus while on the move from one place to another and within the long distances, especially between neighboring countries, leading to the concentrated tobacco smoke which is burnt by the smokers constantly. The smoke has a negative effect on non-smokers as a result of the large proportions of nicotine with the breathing air into the lungs. Because of what the smokers exhaled including the smoke of cigarettes, people are exposed to several diseases that are usually caused by the bad habit of smoking practiced by a number of people in public places. The young children are affected as well by the smoke if their father or anyone else smokes in the same room that they are in.

  • طالب محمود

    2012-3-2

    Smoking causes negative effects to human health, especially to children. The World Health Organization said that tobacco causes enormously harmful consequences to children. Smoking causes many bad effects, including bad breath, teeth problems and tooth decay, in addition to skin problems, as it narrows blood vessels making the oxygen unable to flow adequately in the skin and makes it look pale. An Italian research study has shown that smokers are more susceptible to psoriasis and premature aging. Smoking causes to adolescent smokers signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles, especially around the lips. It also causes problems in the respiratory system where colds, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia are likely to develop, leading to a decrease in physical fitness and increasing the chances of falling ill due to poor blood circulation and the inability of the body to produce enough collagen to repair the muscles. An American academic study has confirmed that adolescent smokers have smaller lungs and hearts than adolescents who don’t smoke.

  • زبير الحلي

    2012-3-2

    As far as I am concerned, despite being a smoker myself, I think that smoking is a harmful, bad habit which threatens one’s health. In fact, smoking requires a lot of money that could have been devoted to the family or other things which are more important in our daily life. However, despite all of these bad repercussions that I am convinced of, I happen to be addicted to smoking. Indeed, I cannot give up smoking although I have tried many times. Some people say that it is a matter of determination and resolution, and it is also beneficial for the health. I personally think that it has to do with addiction, as cigarettes contain nicotine which is a stimulant substance that the body gets used to. Thus, people cannot give up consuming this substance. I hope that there will be government programs and campaigns to help smokers give up smoking. I will be the first participant in these programs as there are treatment methods that will make abandoning smoking much easier. I myself find smoking relaxing when I go through rocky times. I do not know if I am right or wrong. In general, I hope that I will quit smoking as soon as possible and that cigarettes will disappear from this world forever so that there will be no more smokers on Earth.

  • فضل

    2012-3-1

    As far as I am concerned, I think that it is a matter of taste and respect. The person who smokes in a public place has neither taste nor respect for others as he causes the emission from his cigarettes. He also causes health problems such as breathing problems or something similar. In fact, public places are usually crowded with people and there may be women or children who suffer from an allergy or who suffer from a respiratory problem. However, they cannot tell the smoker to put out his cigarette. Thus, all smokers must pay heed to this issue and not embarrass others. They have to respect others’ tastes and opinions. Some people cannot tolerate the smell of cigarette smoke. I am not against smoking. However, we have to respect others’ opinions.

  • جبران مجيد

    2012-2-29

    I am against smoking and I respect the countries that ban smoking in public places, because these places belong to no one, to impose what he likes on the others. Smoking is a very bad habit that has plagued our societies and has become widespread among the adolescents in particular, who start their life by smoking. Of course, this is because of the lack of awareness and infrequency of the campaigns that explain the dangers of smoking, in order to protect the youth in particular from getting involved in this negative phenomenon. All these factors have led to the increase in the number of the smokers who respect non-smokers or the patients. Currently, the smoker can smoke in any place in the absence of any law or convention that bans him from violating the rights of others and disrespecting them. Of course, this is an improper phenomenon, and we have to work on eliminating it and banning smoking in public places, because this embarrasses the girls, elders, patients and non-smokers. All those people must be respected, because they cannot endure the smell of smoke. Hence, I call on the government to intervene and issue a law preventing the violations of the rights of the others in any way, and banning smoking in public places.

  • عادل شكري

    2012-2-27

    Smoking in front of children is a crime and a grave mistake committed by some smokers when they smoke in front of children in many public places and services that causes severe childhood health damage. It also causes another problem, the greatest and the biggest, which is the damage to education becauseit removes the graveness and horror of smoking from them, as children are affected by adults and consciously emulate and copy them, taking them as role models, while they are still at an early age and cannot distinguish the harmful from the beneficial things.

  • Aksel

    2012-2-27

    One of the saddening views also is when we see innocent children who are with some of their families within the means of public transport and the smoker exhales nasty smoke in their faces without any regard for childhood and innocence and what may affect them, especially as the lungs of children are small and still in the process of growth, and their bodies are fragile and very sensitive to any changes that occur around them since their immunity is weak and less developed, making them more vulnerable to injury in the respiratory tract and ears because of the smoke from the smoker. The public and private places, especially the closed ones in a smoking atmosphere become saturated with smoke, which increases the risk of childhood diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, inflammation of the ear, nose and throat and also lead to increased risk of injury to children with heart disease prematurely. In addition, when we have children in public places increasingly infested with smoking, this leads to the possibility of increasing the proportion of smoking children and the presence of children in an environment of contaminated air, saturated with tobacco smoke exhaled by smokers increases their desire to start smoking in the future, the greatest danger is that those who have already begun to smoke may be getting addicted. The enactment of laws banning smoking in public places is the right thing to do and must be activated immediately and compel smokers to places designated for smoking and whoever does not abide should be fined a sum of money, in order to protect the children first before adults, enough harm to the environment, health and the economy. And smokers should give up this bad habit in public places, especially the closed ones.

  • زايد هادي

    2012-2-26

    No one disagrees on the damage of smoking, which still remains in the area of research and awareness. However, there are major problems associated with smoking in general, the phenomenon of smoking in public places. The person smoking in public places causes damage to everyone around him at that place. It does not only focus on the health damage caused by the smoke to the surrounding people, but it is also an uncivilized appearance that is not in line with our communities and our religion. Apart from the vast amount of health damage caused by smoking in public places to the people, the smoker conveys a negative image to the people around him through the way in which he appears, surrounded by smoke. In addition to exposing others to unacceptable behavior, it also shows that the smoker is irresponsible. The person smoking in public places does not care about those around him and is causing serious harm to the people. Smoking in public places is a phenomenon that requires the issuance of truly deterrent laws to confront and eliminate it, and efforts of all the community must stand in the face of this phenomenon for the safety of the community because of the risks that it causes and the resulting health damage. The smoker in the public places is guilty in the eyes of society and is not aware that what he commits is a punishable crime, but that does not deny the shortcomings towards his community.

  • مشير

    2012-2-26

    This phenomenon is very bad and negative, and it is really difficult to eradicate it because it has existed for many years and no law that prohibits smoking in public places has been passed so far. Therefore, this problem should be treated with a plan that would be prepared to get rid of this step by step, starting from the prevention in specific places. For example, the government departments and ministries is the first step. The prevention shall be issued with a decision that cannot be reversed and then work to prevent it indoors and so on until reaching the banning of smoking in public places because they are not meant for smokers. There are a lot of non-smokers there and they must be respected, especially those who may be infected with thoracic diseases, respiratory problems, or allergies. While you smoke in a public place, your cigarette may cause them many problems because of your disrespect for that place. So, I hope that the smokers will respect the public space. It is possible for the smoker to choose his private place or the right places where he can smoke. However, while you are in a bus or other means of transport sitting and there are a lot of other passengers with you, and then you smoke your cigarette, this is a very negative issue because there is the lack of respect towards others through the emission of such odor and smoke.

  • عبدالستار احمدد

    2012-2-24

    We see that many youth today smoke in a strange way, and this problem has become rampant even among teenagers, who became addicted to this dangerous poison, especially in the absence of any regulations that could limit the spread of this dangerous phenomenon. Furthermore, the fathers of families do not monitor the affairs of their children, and they do not educate them about the need to stop smoking, because smoking endangers one’s life. Hence, I demand that the Iraqi government follow the steps that were taken in other Arab and foreign states, such as setting down regulations to ban smoking in public places. The smokers must never be allowed to smoke in public places or government institutions, as well as the public transportation means, in order not to affect the health of the non-smokers. The smoker can smoke in his car, provided that he does not get rid of the cigarette butts in the streets. The smokers can also smoke in private places and cafés. The violators of these regulations must be fined large sums or imprisoned for a period specified by the law. In this way, we will control this phenomenon and eliminate it.

  • جمعة رفيع

    2012-2-24

    The phenomenon of smoking is one of the most dangerous habits in human life. Unfortunately, the youth and the teenagers have become addicted to smoking more and more. Smoking may become like an addiction among the youth and the teenagers throughout the Arab world, in addition to its various side effects. Smoking affects the economic status of the individual, because smoking is a form of extravagance. Smoking is like earning money and then burning it. In addition, it has a negative effect on the health of the smokers, because of the nicotine in the cigarettes. This material harms the heart and veins. Smoking weakens the heart and leads to an increase in the blood cholesterol. Smoking also damages the digestive and nervous systems. Additionally, smoking harms the non-smokers, especially when one smokes on the buses and in crowded places. This behavior endangers the health of the non-smokers and may cause them to suffer from asthma and bronchitis. This behavior kills many smokers and non-smokers.

  • حمزة فتاح

    2012-2-23

    As far as I am concerned, smoking is a negative thing although it is at the same time a personal freedom for those who like smoking. From a medical perspective, smoking has large negative effects and causes a lot of dangerous diseases mainly cancer and respiratory and chest problems as a result of the substances which tobacco contains. In fact, everyone is aware of all this. Generally speaking, smoking is an uncivilized phenomenon which should be given up. I hope that there will be continuous programs to help smokers quit such a bad habit. Indeed, I am not a smoker but I hope that everyone will stop smoking cigarettes because it shortens the lives of people. From another perspective, which is the public taste, I have to note to all smokers that they are not respecting non-smokers. In fact, since we have said that smoking is a personal freedom and there is no one to prevent you from smoking, smokers must respect non-smokers. For instance, they say that it is a personal freedom and these people do not smoke and I would like to harm myself but not others. Thus, all smokers should think this way given that if they smoke in the house, they will harm their children, wife, and the rest of their family as well as expose them to diseases because they will share the smoke coming out of the cigarette. Consequently, this will cause harm for them which is the same in the public means of transport, namely buses and in State Departments.

  • ليون

    2012-2-23

    The phenomenon of smoking is one of the very bad habits spread broadly in the communities of young people and adolescents due to the motivation of the people to smoke, which consumes money and health. However, today we see that many of the youth and adolescents are becoming addicted to the habit of smoking despite their knowledge that smoking harms most of their physical health. They spend more money to buy this dangerous poison as cigarette includes nicotine, a substance that is dangerous and toxic to the body, and taking too much of this substance leads to the hardening of the arteries as well as the weakness of the heart muscle and high blood pressure in young people. It also leads to increased cholesterol in the blood and all these things clearly affect the human health making it susceptible to heart disease. Not only does the nicotine affect the heart, it also affects the respiratory system, which causes chronic cough, asthma, shortness of breath, and even lung cancer. In addition to that, smoking affects the nervous system of man, leading to the imbalance and the occurrence of chronic headaches, as well as having a huge impact on the digestive system.

  • فارس الزوبعي

    2012-2-23

    Smoking is considered a major factor in the incidence of many cancers in the body, but in spite of all the risks caused by it, we see an increase in the number of young smokers, which led the Iraqi government and the concerned authorities to take legal action to prevent smoking in public places. The phenomenon of smoking in public places is uncivilized and held accountable by law in all civilized countries. In addition, it leads to environmental pollution, spread of epidemics and diseases, and their direct impact on non-smokers, especially in public transport buses and crowded places such as markets, banks, and other service departments that are visited by a large number of people every day. Smokers who throw cigarette butts on the ground may expose these places to the risk of fire. So I think that prohibiting smoking in public places is one of the good things that contribute to maintaining the health of citizens, non-smokers, as well as preserving the environment.

  • فائق

    2012-2-17

    I call on all the owners of official buildings to do the most they can to provide their premises with smoke alarms and do inspection and specify place for smoking. God willing all the good smoking, as a bad phenomena, should be banned in every way. We pray to God for the best interests of Iraq and the Iraqis.

  • مزهر السعود

    2012-2-17

    I ask God the Almighty to help us ban smoking in Iraq and worldwide to prevent the diseases caused by it and loss of money without any use. I call on all smokers to stop smoking gradually because the Iraqi person should smell good in his house and workplace. Some smokers have awful odors that can easily be detected by anyone who sits near them and this gives a bad impression about the smoker. Hence, we call for respecting public places, which the smoker must enter and not cause troubles.

  • شافي سالم

    2012-2-17

    The public places and institutions must be respected and those who smoke in such places must be brought to justice and punished because they affect all those who are around them. This is an unhealthy phenomenon as to manners and morals. Iraq needs to promote the culture of upholding prestige and each step must be studied a thousand times. We need development in every aspect of life. There should be no barriers in front of the people. The Iraqi citizen whether he is a public officer or not must be thoughtful and should care for others. The Iraqi citizen needs to be neat and clean. The Iraqi person should imitate good people rather than the bad ones. Iraq needs to find solutions to the problem of smoking and every Iraqi citizen is required to realize that he has responsibilities and should live up to them.

  • عبدالله سلمان

    2012-2-17

    The phenomenon of smoking in Iraq is one of the worst behaviors that became rampant strangely these days. I hate smoking bitterly because smokers affect their health badly while they are unaware of the dangers and the diseases that would affect them. The worst thing is they do not pay attention until they get older and this is a serious problem and an uncivilized phenomenon because some people smoke in public places, buses, hospitals and everywhere in Iraq. I am against this dangerous phenomenon that kill people without their knowledge. The smoke is very hazardous as to the awful odors. Of course, this is one of the worst things in Iraq, which endured many tragedies and now needs to return to reality.. Iraq needs development and construction not destruction.

  • مشرف الجوراني

    2012-2-17

    Smoking has become a very strange phenomenon in Iraq, though it was present since a long time ago, but nowadays it has become worse, especially as it is spread everywhere and there is no respect to patients, State Chambers or anything else. The smoker, sitting wherever he likes, just gets out a cigarette and starts smoking without permission. Frankly, there are places inappropriate for smoking, especially in government buildings. For example, in government departments we see the staff and clients smoke or in hospitals and other state buildings; these are the government’s own buildings, not civil buildings, and the government can issue a decision to ban smoking inside those buildings for either the employees or clients, first to minimize the phenomenon of smoking and secondly, smoking inside the buildings may cause many problems, including fire or pollution and health problems for some people. We should take into account there are other people in those buildings, or perhaps allergic patients or non-smokers and at the same time we must improve our country and smokers must be educated to develop respect for places where they are. Today, when you enter any department of the State you feel the unpleasant and very bad smell because of so many smokers, in addition to other places where people, men and women stand in a waiting row and one of them takes a cigarette and starts smoking and they are too many. There should be a law to prevent smoking, not everywhere, but at least in government buildings and places that are crowded with people.

  • جلال ناصر

    2012-2-16

    Smoking in Iraq is one of the phenomena that have substantial negative impact and is usually considered as bad and uncivilized habits because the smoker usually restricts the freedom of others and affects the health of non-smokers them at the same time.

  • هيثم السماك

    2012-2-16

    I demand the Iraqi Government or the Iraqi Parliament to pass a law limiting the phenomenon of smoking. The civil society organizations, the media, and the press should take responsibility to educate people about the dangers of smoking and its negative effects on public health and the environment. It is worth mentioning to highlight some of the risks of smoking that affect the health of the community where millions of people become exposed to diseases that infect the respiratory tract, hardening of the arteries, heart disease, high blood pressure as well as exposure to cancer of the respiratory tract which people suffer from as a result of smoking or breathing the smoke indirectly, especially while riding in buses and trucks and in government offices and in winter when doors and windows are closed, and there are a number of smokers on staff. In addition to the suffering of smoking addicts by spending huge amounts of money buying cigarette packs or smoking pipe, this act has negative effects on the daily level of expenditure and may lead to the financial need as well as loss of wealth and health. At the same time, there are no benefits from this bad habit. Instructions should be issued to describe the places where smoking is permitted. As a result, when laws like this are issued, there will not be adverse effects of abuse on habitual smokers, who are used to smoking, and this law is a fair restriction on personal freedoms. At the same time, penalties and fines must be imposed on everyone arrested while smoking in prohibited places through the formation of follow-up committees for the purpose of the implementation of this law to curb smoking as is the case in many Arab countries and other countries of the world, where the issuance of such laws is considered one of the elements of civilization that must be applied in Iraq because many smokers do not abstain from smoking until after they are requested to stop smoking.

  • حامد

    2012-2-15

    This is the first time I know that the people have a parliament that actually cares about them. I cannot express every meaning of it; they are all good.