Egypt plans smoking ban

Smokers beware–there will soon be nowhere to run.

It started in Europe and North America, and now it’s spreading around the world. Country after country is banning the use of tobacco in public places. Some countries are going even further. Finland plans to ban smoking entirely, while more limited laws are appearing in the most surprising places.

Even the smoker’s haven of the Middle East is getting into the game. Syria’s smoking ban covers public buildings and popular gathering spots such as cafes, and now Egypt is starting a smoking ban too. Alexandria is the first city to enact the ban, which will eventually cover the whole country. Officials are starting by enforcing a usually ignored law already on the books that forbids smoking in government buildings, and the ban will spread to other public buildings such as cafes within two years. Other cities will soon follow.

One wonders if Egypt’s many hookah bars will fight the ban like the hookah bars in Paris.