A Humble Request to the Government and Parliament

Our nation have for the past many years been taking a leading role in the issues of the environment. Today we, the Maldives have successfully introduced to the world another ideology of joining the human rights and environment as one.

"Smoke is not good for your health. Avoid smoking… In case you can’t, please do not throw cigarette stubs around. It takes more than 200 years for a cigarette filter to be decomposed by nature. By then turtles and other nosy animals will have eaten them and suffered a horrendous death because of it. Set an example, whether you are on the beach or a dive boat"
A very simple yet an important advice by WHO(1) that I found in their website.

I am not someone who smokes, yet I wonder if I really can say it. I think it will be more appropriate to say that I am not a active smoker. As for the passive smoking which also harms us, I wonder how on earth we could escape that in our society.

Everyone seems to be talking about developing our country and protecting the human rights of every member of our society. If then how about MAKE OUR PUBLIC PLACES SMOKE FREE. I say so because this is something that will have many benefits. Of cause this will mean a cut in revenue by selling cigarettes. However, the benefits are far more exceeding.

1. Non-smokers will be protected from passive smoking.
2. An indirect discourage to smoking or encouragement to reduce smoking.
3. The OK attitude towards smoking will change to a "NOT OK" which in long run reduce smokers.
4. This will also encourage people to make their houses smoke free.
5. The money we spend on importing the cigarettes will reduce, at least to some extent.
6. Children gets a better and safer environment to live.

I am sure one could go on explain a lot of advantages, yet I know very well that this is more easy to be said than done. This is a concept that is already in place in many countries like, Albania, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Finland and England. (2)

Remember, many government members including our president does smoke. The same is the case with our Parliament. So it will not be very good idea to expect this to happen overnight, yet there is nothing wrong in talking about it as this is something that will benefit all.

I hold a dream to see a day, when smoking in public places are banned, and our future generation gets a healthier environment to grow up.

Photo: http://maggiesnotebook.blogspot.com/2009/03/cigarette-tax-hike-huge.html