From assela Pathirana
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2007-SEP-09: Sri Lankans have given up smoking!

When I visited the country after some two and half years, the most positive change I saw around was that hardly anybody smoke any more. Of course my view may be biased after living 11 years in an smoke-infested Japan and then in Netherlands (which is not much better -- a lot of unpreventable second-hand smoke!); but it is a fact that smoking in public places is almost nonexistent.

Some twenty years ago, when I was a kid, I sow the seeds of this moment being sown -- some organization started a hilarious and personalized, but nevertheless extremely effective poster campaign targeting smokers. Things like "Smoking smells", "Girls never kiss a smoker", etc., were apparently effective more than "Smoking kills".

Whatever the reason, the whole society over there seems to have taken a unified stand against smoking in public. Almost all the restaurants I went had a notice banning smoking in the premises. Even there was a fine indicated ("If you are still being fooled by the tobacco company to continue smoking, that is your business. But if you smoke in our premises be ready to pay a fine of Rs. 2000").