Jordan has a desperate tobacco problem: according to World Health Organization figures, around 60 percent of men and 10 percent of women are smokers – the highest rates in the Arab world. Although smoking in enclosed public places has been outlawed by the Jordanian parliament, enforcement is patchy at best. Most people aren’t even aware it’s illegal. As you move around the country you’re very likely to encounter smoke-filled hotel lobbies, cafés and restaurants. Sometimes an establishment will allocate a no-smoking zone (generally in the farthest corner and hardly ever with an actual physical barrier) but often it’s just a free-for-all. A very few eating places call themselves smoke-free – mostly espresso-style cafés and fast-food joints in West Amman. For an updated list, search for “smoke-free” at the local restaurant review website w Find out more about the domestic campaign to have the law enforced at w and on Facebook and Twitter.

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