BEYROUTH, Liban[Lebanon]- A new study by the Center for Waterpipe Smoking in Beirut has just concluded a study on the effects of secondary smoke on fellow smokers standing nearby, smoking.
Initially it was mocked and seen as a slap on the face of the generally known studies which investigated the effects of secondary smoke on non-smokers but the non-profit's director Dr. Faizal Kassim Baltasar explained the main aim was to explore an important niche most often ignored.
" from WHO to the FDA[US Food and Drug Administration] everybody was talking about how secondary smoke was dangerous on non-smokers as it contained more than 4000 different harmful chemicals. But what about the smokers inhaling this second smoke aren't they getting a double lethal dose and who was fighting for them" said Dr. Baltasar.
" If you want to smoke yourself to death at least leave your fellow smokers out of it" added Baltasar.
a comic book inspired 'one-at-a-time' proposals like the one above were hailed as the perfect solution by the Syrian Government since it solved the dilemma of the non-smoking taxpayer by charging the user. Ignore the print in red.
The study which showed smokers were at a higher risk of dying from smoke of other smokers standing nearby, say, in public designated smoking areas, than non-smokers recommended private single individual designated smoking areas like those in some European airports/public transit stations.
"We understand it's going to burn a hole in the taxpayers pocket but health first" said an anonymous sympathizer.
Most institutions were not amused with some like the Americans for Non-smokers' Rights saying an organization in a country like Syria which just banned smoking the other day had no moral right.
"They just signed the law on 21st April 2010, small wonder they are still nostalgic about the smoker and now they are telling us to give health priorities to second-hand smoke smokers. I bet Dr. Baltasar is a closet smoker himself" said Dr. Jeff Brigg director of communications for ANR.
Baltasar dismissed his statement as professional jealousies.
"My friend Jeff is forgetting we are the first Arab nation to ban smoking including the Narghile[waterpipe] in public areas in a country and region with a cultural history of smoking anything from Poppy to Camel shit. And now that we are the first to come up with this breakthrough study while they were smoking pot, and we are not American, well,i think Dr. Frankenstein is green with envy" said Baltasar.
As of the time of press, the Americans for Non-smokers' Rights organization announced it was embarking on research to study the effects of second-hand smoke on the individual smoker, so just we may know.
NB: our French born/American-Israeli writer was barred entry to Syria. They suspected he was an Israeli spy