Iraq Cracks Down On Smoking

Smoking is common in many Arab countries, where a pack costs as little as 43 cents.

Iraq is following the lead of many countries when it comes to cigarettes.  Iraq is now considering banning smoking in public places, the first such bill in a country where smoking is virtually a rite of passage of young men.

An Iraqi government spokesperson says they want to bring awareness to the dangers of smoking cigarettes and stop people from starting the habit.

While Iraq considers the measure, North Carolina prepares to implement its ban on smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars.  The ban takes effect on January 1. 

The idea is not uniquely American.  In fact, several European countries have banned smoking inside public places, while 13 states in the U.S. have no ban on smoking.  All of Ireland's public places, including the pubs, went smoke-free five years ago.

Do you think the Iraqi government is trying to send a message to the world with this bill? 



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