It Sucks to Be a Smoker in Bhutan

You think anti-smoking regulations are tough in the US? Well, at least you don't have to worry about your home being raided by police with a tobacco sniffer dog, or face five years in prison for having too many cigarettes.

In 2005, Bhutan banned the sale of tobacco, but people are still allowed to buy 200 imported cigarettes each month as long as they smoke in private. But with the Tobacco Control Act, which passed by a huge majority in parliament, the Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency has been given the power to enter homes of people they suspect are smoking illegal tobacco, and they can even enter a home if they just see someone smoking. And according to Reuters, they're even training a special tobacco-sniffing dog! A police official said, "The sniffer dog is being trained at the moment. The dog will be able to sniff out tobacco products."

The prime minister of Bhutan, Jigmi Y. Thinley, doesn't think the new law is harsh at all. In fact, he basically says people are lucky they're not being treated like drug traffickers: "It is cancerous, both in the literal and the metaphoric sense, cancerous to society and to individual and in many ways it is no different from psychotropic drugs, for which the penalty in certain countries is death."

So stop complaining about having to step outside the bar in the cold to have a smoke. At least you don't have to worry about sniffer dogs and narcotics police.

[Reuters; Image via Getty]