Khaled Al-Sulaiman | Okaz, email@example.com
Saturday 26 September 2009
Last Update 26 September 2009 12:00 am
The only time when it is guaranteed that you will not find anyone smoking in our airports is during Ramadan daylight hours.
This is the only time that the “No Smoking” sign is respected. If it isn’t Ramadan, the airport is full of cigarette smoke.
If smokers can resist the urge during Ramadan then why do they pull out cigarettes right under “No Smoking” signs during the rest of the year?
I cannot fathom the reason why they pull out a cigarette and light up, especially under the “No Smoking” sign, at other times. The only reason I can think of why smokers do this is that they must be getting extra taste from the tobacco under the “No Smoking” signs.
Even though the airport has specified rooms for smoking, the smokers often smoke just outside the doors, only one step away from the room. This is a gross violation.
Breaking rules seem to be embedded in these smokers’ genes. These genes however disappear once these smokers leave Saudi airports and land in foreign terminals. These smokers dare not light one cigarette inside these terminals.
The “No Smoking” signs in foreign terminals are similar to the ones put up in Saudi airports. Yet the smokers follow the rules in one terminal while showing disdain in the other.
These smokers fear the laws in foreign lands and force themselves to obey them. However, here they do what they will, knowing full well they will get away with their rule flouting.
This is because no one knows who is responsible for enforcing the smoking ban or who to complain when someone is smoking in these areas. To add fuel to fire, the airport employees, immigration officers and others are seen smoking in the terminals. The only airport workers not smoking are the cleaners.
When someone suggested that the government should ban smoking in public places, I just laughed.
When airports, where tight security should be implemented, fail to enforce the ban on smoking then how would the government ban it in public places?