Restaurant owners to boycott the smoking-ban law

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Paul Ariss, former head of the restaurant owners syndicate, declared today that restaurants will boycott Law 174 as work has deteriorated by 60 percent ever since authorities implemented the smoking ban. Demonstrators blocked the Sodeco road today to protest the damage inflicted by the ban.

Interestingly enough, Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud criticized the smoking ban law yesterday during an interview on MTV, calling it “غباء تشريعي”. As I had stated on previous occasions, the law should have been implemented gradually as there are way too many Shisha cafés in Lebanon that could close down due to this ban.

There are two ways to solve this problem:

1- Put the law on hold for 6 months or until the winter ends, so that Shisha restaurants don’t have to close down and have time to set up an outdoor terrace or a closed rooftop.

2- Amend the law and issue a special (expensive) permit to allow indoor-smoking for a fixed number of Shisha cafés, and forbid the opening of any new Shisha café.

20 thoughts on “Restaurant owners to boycott the smoking-ban law

  1. Tomp

    Proposal 1 sounds good but does not really solve the core of the problem as some places might not have an outdoor space to take advantage of (ex: Roadster Kaslik)

    Proposal 2 isn’t plausible as you can’t really define “fixed number of shisha cafes” and forcing existing cafes to pay a high premium for a smoking permit doesn’t sound fair, simply because wealthy owners will have the advantage and that’s how monopoly is triggered.

    I believe what should be done is to keep the ban on smoking indoors except for shops with a special license where smoking indoors is allowed ON THE CONDITION that such places can’t serve food indoors.

  2. Andre

    It’s ridiculous what they’re trying to do ! They should start investing in following laws and rules and not on finding ways to brake them and overturn them !
    The whole civilized world has rules regarding the matter, and people are coping obviously, why can’t we ?

  3. E

    I hate smoking but they should start giving special permits to some shisha cafe and forbid the opening of new ones or lift the ban but make sure every restaurant has a closed place for non smokers so they could shut that shit hole the call mouth

  4. T.

    This is very ridiculous.
    They should get over themselves and stop convincing people they the law should be boycotted! it’s a smoking-ban law for God’s sake! and no, we should not postpone this for another 6 months and make them believe they are right.
    Every civilized country has implemented such law and i highly doubt that the Lebanese are gonna stop going out just because they cannot smoke, granted every restaurant is implementing the law (and that’s why we should not be granting special permits and allowing corruption to take place).
    The only type of restaurant that should maybe be allowed to operate is some sort of arguileh place that will only serve arguileh
    I’m sorry restaurant owners are making less money but the only reason they were making more before was because smoking was hurting thousands of people. It was wrong and i’m glad it is coming to an end (hopefully)

    1. Chadi

      I 100% agree! The number of people who are dying every year of smoke related issues has dramatically increased during the last few years, “thanks” to those chicha cafes …. people wake up!

  5. E.F.K

    If some Lebanese people can’t live without the cigarette, or arguilé or whatever, then SHAME on such Lebanese. People should stop smoking and stop spending their time in Chicha Cafés. At least they’ll have some time to enhance their culture and education! Stay a 3rd world country !!!

    1. Rachelle

      Do u seriously think that Chicha Cafés are what’s preventing the Lebanese from enhancing their culture? As if we were an expanded version of Cambridge University before the rush of such places, and the “m3assal” dragged us away from our true image ma hek?

  6. Rob

    they should get over with it! lebanese HAVE to make drama out of everything this is the MOST civilized law the gov has EVER applied in 20 years
    im pretty sure when traffic laws r intorduced they will make drama out of it too and complain
    NO for exceptions or else EVERYONE will want one and no one will obey the law
    how about protecting employees who r non-smokers ?
    in europe there r VERY small smoking rooms where employees dont enter so its self service r they willing to do that ?
    what they do is complain and complain
    let them learn how to amend a law THEN complain really ignorant people

    1. Rachelle

      I don’t think that wanting to be able to smoke in a pub makes people ignorant, and I don’t think that complaining over a law makes people uncivilized.
      And, you have TOO MUCH anger in you man 🙂

      1. Desmond Bey

        There is a difference between complaining about an unjust law (such as not allowing Lebanese women to pass on their nationality to their children)and complaining about a law that is in place to protect a nation’s health.
        Blocking a road to protest against a smoking ban? And we wonder why we’re such a laughing stock..not enough anger directed at bigger issues.

        1. Rachelle

          I confess, being a smoker myself might affect my objective judgment over the matter :). I would prefer smoking while drinking in a pub but if that doesn’t happen I would’t care less and I definetly don’t agree on the road blocking thing.
          “Not enough anger dirceted at bigger issues”, I totally agree and add to that “not enough effort directed at more bigger issues”. For example I wish half of that effort used in favor of the law can be applied now facing the medications scandal, I think that also concerns the nation’s health, non?

          1. Desmond Bey

            Baby steps, Rachelle! There is way more money involved in the drugs thingy and a lot more wasta…it’s criminal.

          2. Rachelle

            Khalas khayeh I’ll quit somking 🙂
            I wish all the laws would be properly applied and I’d be more than pleased to obey with a big smile on my face.
            And I think the effort should be doubled whenever money, wasta, politics, benefits get involved or else we will never change.
            What’s with the name by the way?

    1. Wael

      even if it doesn’t hurt much, it is still very annoying and separating smokers from non-smokers should be done in all places that offer shisha

  7. Gianni

    Seriously? Boycott the law? that’s a first I’ve ever heard. It should read defy/break the law! Every establishment that breaks the law should be fined to the maximum; daily!!! If the still continue in their “boycott” ;they should shut them down! Period! What kind of a country is this??

  8. Desmond Bey

    What rubbish.
    Following this logic, every country in the world that banned smoking now have no restaurants, bars or pubs anymore because they all had to close down…
    The law didn’t appear overnight and there was plenty of time for everyone concerned to sort their businesses out if necessary.
    If you want to smoke, then please step outside – you cannot be so ignorant as to say it’s your right to smoke wherever you want for obvious reasons.
    It’s typical of our country that instead of following the law everyone invests more energy, time and money in fighting it as if it doesn’t apply to everybody.
    All of that effort to circumvent the law, it’s mindblowing…
    I have a retail business and I am an ex-smoker but the day the law came into effect, I implemented it in the workplace.
    Don’t like it? Too bad.


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