Monday, January 14, 2013


Tomorrow, the Jesuit Center goes smoke-free. Previously, no smoking was allowed indoors, but many people would stand out on the deck with the door open and the smoke would filter back into the Center. Smoking will not be allowed on the premises at all. Smokers will have to leave the building and smoke on the sidewalks. This will be a big test for many.

Patrolling the area will be a challenge. Many people who come regularly to the Jesuit will abide by the policy, but there are many who come in off-hours and that is not controllable. Oh, well. If we are 85% of the way there, it will be rather effective.

I'm very pleased with the respect many have given the policy. I believe that one day, Jordan will join the smoke-less ranks. Why? The people are respectful. I imagine in places in the downtown areas, store owners won't pay much attention to the regulations, but restaurants and hotels will offer smoke-free sections or a non-smoking policy.

Years ago, Amman passed laws restricting smoking, but no one followed it. I think as more and more places announce their restrictions, it will happen. It is still some years off, but it will come. I hope there are health plans and ways to help people stop smoking for their own health benefits. Smokers ought not to be treated as pariahs. It is difficult to quit. There isn't a sense that cigarette smoking causes ill health effects. When a person dies of lung cancer, it is not because they smoke cigarettes, it is because they had a cough that developed into something else. Many don't see the causal relationship.

I saw a new label on a pack of cigarettes from a priest-friend of mine. It said "Cigarettes kill." Right now there are bold signs on the packs, but I'm told that graphic images will soon appear on them.

Nevertheless, it will be an interesting venture to see.


  1. Every step towards less smoke, no matter how small, is very good!And many people smoke in Jordan. When I was there, I'm sure that I appeared borderline rude because I would not smoke a cigarette, nor take the hookah. Everything was offered with such generosity, but no thanks!

    1. I agree. It is difficult to say no when people are so insistent. I'd have no problem getting up and walking away if pressed to smoke. I do the same when pressed to buy something.