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Wednesday
Oct312018

Brief respite from the tobacco taliban

I was on holiday last week.

We went to southern Turkey, a country I had never previously visited. I won't bore you with the details (the hotel was nice, the weather better than forecast) but a couple of things may interest you.

One, ashtrays. Despite the fact that very few guests appeared to be smoking, within the hotel grounds an ashtray could be found on almost every outdoor table including al fresco dining areas. There was even an unsolicited ashtray on our balcony overlooking the swimming pool (above).

Two, although smoking is officially banned in indoor public places, I saw very few 'no smoking' signs. One was in a restaurant overlooking a bay to the south of where we were staying. It hung from the ceiling and was so large I took a picture.

What you couldn't see, because they were just out of shot, were the owner and his wife who were sitting at an adjacent table puffing away in clear defiance of national policy!

It struck me that the ashtrays were provided not to encourage people to smoke but as a simple act of courtesy to those that do.

They also define, very clearly, where you can and can't smoke without the need for unnecessary and intrusive signage that is designed not to inform but to denormalise both smoking and, by association, smokers.

Turkey is governed by a notoriously repressive political regime so let's not pretend the country is a beacon of liberalism.

Nevertheless my brief experience suggests that if you want to enjoy a short respite from the tobacco taliban you could do worse than add it to your list of holiday destinations.

PS. In the four weeks before going on holiday I lost eight pounds. In the seven days I was away I gained six. At least I'm still in credit!

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Reader Comments (1)

Corfu. Smoking ban in place and totally ignored. Smoking allowed inside and outside in all the bars and restaurants. Nobody minds
It's much more civilised than England

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 13:58 | Unregistered CommenterBucko

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