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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Belgium adopts full smoking ban

A guest post by Brenda Orsler

There is no Government in Belgium and yet The Flemish Anti-Cancer League has forced the Belgian court to overturn the exemptions that allowed smoking there in bars that serve no food. From July 1st 2011 there will be a total blanket ban in all bars and cafes.

When German forces invaded Belgium in 1914 Britain ordered Germany to withdraw immediately, Germany refused and The United Kingdom declared war on Germany on the afternoon of August 4, 1914.

Belgium’s cemeteries and fields are the final resting place for hundreds of thousands of soldiers that probably spent their last days with just one comfort. The humble cigarette shared with a comrade.

clip_image002British soldiers giving a German P.O.W. a cigarette.

Such was the importance of smoking to the British soldiers that Princess Mary sent a gift to the serving troops. Officers and men on active service afloat, or at the front, received a box containing a combination of pipe, lighter, 1 oz of tobacco and twenty cigarettes in distinctive yellow monogrammed wrappers.

Many of the soldiers killed in Belgium have descendants from all around the world that visit the Battlefields. They must wonder why their Grandfathers and Great Grandfathers bothered to fight for the freedom of a country that now can vilify people that enjoy a cigarette.

British soldiers WW1 1915 with 6 of the soldiers smoking a cigarette. 

On the back it is postmarked 'LOUGHBOROUGH 9.30PM 16 AUG 15' and addressed to a 'Miss Grant' in Leicester and says -
'Dear Aunt, thanks very much for the present you left me, so I will smoke your health. I thought you might like some of these as it is the last one I have.
How, I wonder would Belgium have fared if they had refused to let smokers come and fight for its freedom from Nazi Germany.


F2C Seminar said...

I have my Grandfather's 'Princess Mary' cigarette tin from WW1.
Plus I have his 'Death Plaque' from 1917.
Did the Belgians mind my Grandfather smoking while walking through the Menin Gate or dodging shells at 'Hellfire Corner'?
Pity that they didn't send home all the smokers then....He might then have managed to reach 28 years of age instead of lying in some stinking muddy field in Flanders for the last 90 odd years.

Anonymous said...

Another place off my"must visit"list.It,s a good job I can travel further afield with the money"liberated"from pubs here...

Anonymous said...

Wake up you lot, smokers have been subjected to a HATE campaign for too long, lets give them 10 times the HATE back.

Anonymous said...

Geneva Convention, look it up, tobacco shall not be forbidden or withheld as it is a cruelty upon prisoners of war. So if it's an inhumane cruelty upon prisoners of war, coming from the aftermath of what Hitler did, then certainly it's an inhumane Nazi derived cruelty against humanity to ban the stuff from the general populace and take away business and property rights at the same time. These health organizations are front line troopers for the Nazis, plain and simple. I wouldn't waste money visiting their country anymore either, and perhaps that's what they are aiming for. Keep everyone bottled up at home, away from one another, no more smoking and socializing that goes along with smoking permitted, and the eff'ing Nazi anti-smokers can rule the world. They just used the falsehood of second hand smoke to take over the world and everyone fell for it.

Anonymous said...

Geneva convention 1949.

But it is a fact that from a psychological point if view tobacco
plays a very important part in the life of men in confinement. It calms the nerves of the smokers and helps them to bear their suffering, while it provides non-smokers with a valuable form of currency which enables them to procure other advantages in exchange. Tobacco is not harmful in the way that alcohol is, and the Convention, in placing it among the things like water which are essential for the internees, recognizes the important part played by this harmless narcotic in soothing men's minds and nerves.

Anonymous said...

You've got the wrong title to this piece. How about: Pressure group use court to extend smoking ban in Belgian. Because that's what's happened. A probably quite tiny number of people have brought in a law applying to what, 25% of the population in Belgian?

Anonymous said...

This is the worse collection of selfish comments I have ever seen. Non-smokers don't want to get cancer from selfish addicts and using the War to back it up is disgusting. You are a disgrace to humanity.

Gregster said...

Hahaha. Anon describes people who just ask to be left alone as selfish, followed immediately by a sentence declaring what he wants. Talk about not understanding the argument lol.

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