Sunday, May 15, 2011

Serbs and smoking

The most mentioned belief I've encountered is that many Serbs smoke. It is something that cannot be discarded easily. There are smokers everywhere, but in Serbia, the situation is much more serious.
A few years back there was a list of the world's heaviest-smoking countries. Serbia was number 6 on that list. That was a scary fact, considering that it said that 47% of the country smoked. When I was younger my parents used to tell me how older people used to grow tobacco and smoke it. Most likely, Serbs kept the habit of smoking from the period in which we were under the Ottoman empire. Unfortunately, it seems to have stuck for a long time.
Personally, all my life I've been surrounded by smokers and I can't say I've become used to it. There were, and still are, people around me who smoked, but I must say I was most surprised when I found out how many people smoked when I went to elementary school. Also I found out a fact on a school excursion that many kids, although they didn't actively smoked, they at least tried a cigarette at the age of 12 or 13. When I got older it was quite horrid to be around a smoking crowd, especially if you would go out to a club with some friends and practically suffocate from the smoke of cigarettes.
All these facts stand, and there still are many people who smoke, but there is also a better view of things. Recently a law was brought that smoking was banned in state institutions and buildings, schools, social care institutions, buildings used for cultural and sports activities and media buildings. It wasn't accepted so well, but time has to pass for people to adjust. Also, when I was growing up, cigarettes could be sold to minors and that is forbidden know. And many people from my generation, actually don't smoke. The social awareness has arisen somewhat, and people are more conscious of the harmfulness of cigarettes. Therefore I would say that with enough effort and actions we could decrease the number of smokers in Serbia.  


  1. Great post. I especially liked the part about the raising of social awareness regarding smoking, since it really is a crucial topic in our society.

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