Bhutan Monk: The Latest Victim of Bhutan's Smoking Ban
In Thimpu, Bhutan, the country's smoking ban has an unexpected victim - a monk. He is facing five years in prison for simply lighting up. The Buddhist monk was charged with consuming and smuggling the illegal substance.
The monk was caught with seventy-two packets of chewing tobacco on his property. Ironic, isn't it? Many citizens in the country of Bhutan consider smoking tobacco and the use of the substance, in general, as bad for one's karma. However, people all over the world light up daily and, in all honesty, plenty of them seem to be doing just fine. Sure, smoking is not good for you and can increase the likelihood of developing certain diseases, such as lung cancer. However, it does not really alter your mind.
As a former smoker, I know this. So, is this intrusive or reasonable? The monk has been charged with smuggling and consuming seventy-two packets of contraband: Chewing tobacco.
In this country, smoking is considered bad for one's karma, and stores have been banned from selling the tobacco since 2005. However, there is a thriving underground tobacco trade with India.
While smoking in private isn't illegal, selling tobacco is. So, it will be interesting to see what happens. Bhutan vows to be the first smoke-free nation, which is why the smoking ban has taken effect. The twenty-four-year-old Bhutanese monk claimed that he did not know that the new law had taken effect when he was arrested.