Like to smoke? Rethink that holiday in Finland

Finland is attempting to become a smoke-free country. A new law will ban the display of tobacco products in shops by spring and ban smoking in cars if you have a minor in your vehicle.

The Finnish government has made it plain that these are only the first steps to get rid of tobacco “once and for all,” according to State Secretary Ilkka Oksala.

Oksala says “we are not afraid” of the tobacco industry, and considering that there really isn’t a tobacco industry in Finland (it’s not exactly the best place to grow it) they might be able to win this fight.

But will they really be able to phase out tobacco entirely? I bet other highly addictive substances that are already illegal in Finland, such as heroin and cocaine, can still be found.

Europe has been shifting towards an anti-smoking culture for some time now, driven by the need to reduce costs to national health care systems. The UK already has a smoking ban in public buildings such as restaurants and pubs, and Spain will follow suit this year. Even Amsterdam’s coffee shops have separate spaces if you want to mix tobacco with your hash. Finland’s total ban is only the most extreme example of a continental trend.%Gallery-13474%


Ryanair: (don’t) smoke if you got ’em!

Ryanair isn’t the first carrier to allow “smokeless” cigarettes on their planes. These devices mimic the sensation of puffing, I’m told by a user, with a water vapor that is released. What makes the announcement distinctly “Ryanair” is that the devices are now being sold on its flights.

You can buy a pack of ten of these smokeless wonders for €6. To purchase the equivalent of a pack of cigs, you’re looking at $17.

So, it really is just another way for Ryanair to squeeze a few extra bucks out of each passenger, but at least the airline isn’t taking something away (like your seat or your pissing privileges.

[Thanks, @brycelongton]


Smoking hurts on Saudi airline

For a smoker, nothing is more miserable than staring down a long flight without being able to light up. As if air travel isn’t enough of a chore, various regulations and health nuts have taken away our preferred coping mechanism. A Sudanese man fought back … and paid dearly.

According to the Daily Mail, the passenger lit a cigarette on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Qurayyat to Jeddah. The cabin crew repeatedly asked that he put out the coffin nail, and he refused. So, when the plane touched down, he was arrested.

Saying sorry wasn’t enough.

Though he apologized in court and presented evidence that he was in a smoking cessation program, the perp was sentenced to 30 lashes. Hey, the judge wanted to prove a point. And, it could have been worse. Last April, another in-flight smoker was sentenced to 50.

Not only does smoking kill … it hurts like hell.

Though many human rights organizations condemn this form of punishment, it is quite common for a number of offenses, from adultery to being alone with a non-relative of the opposite sex. Some crimes can lead to thousands of lashes, but they are meted out in batches of 50 over a period of months.

What gets you 1,000 lashes? I don’t know, but I suspect a post-coital cig after joining the mile-high club would put you in the running.

[Via Daily Mail]

What strange things have been found on planes?