Looks like Bhutan is going to make another headline in the media across the world just like it did in 2004 when initiated a ban on the sale of tobacco products. Now the National Assembly thinks that ban is ineffective as the five years’ experience tells us. So, the National Assembly is going strict – “No Bhutanese can buy or sell tobacco.”(Kuensel dated December 4, 2009).
Good news for so many non-smokers in the country. Looks like, they won’t have to inhale unnecessary smoke anymore. And it is amusing even to hear the Health Minister’s remark to the media: We are not saying you can’t smoke, we are just saying you can’t sell.
Now the National Assembly members say we can’t totally ban smoking because that goes against the individual right. Exactly! So, Bhutan will be the only country where you can smoke freely because that’s your right to do so (provided you don’t smoke in the specified public places) but can’t buy or sell the tobacco products.
If the National Council agrees with the NA’s amendment, smokers in Bhutan will see smoking as a sort of mirage. You are allowed to smoke, but you can’t either buy or sell cigarettes. It is there yet it is nowhere. And we won’t have to go far to see one big thriving black market.