Lebanese Restaurants Not Following The Smoking Ban: Feniqia, Jbeil

I was taking my Australian cousins out to dinner today and I decided to have them try out Feniqia in Jbeil. One of my cousins, who has been visiting Lebanon more or less frequently lately, complained about the place having too much shisha and smoke. So I gleefully told her about the smoking ban and how a decent place like Feniqia was surely abiding by it.

As we neared the place, we saw a man smoking a shisha. But we was immediately next to a window so I thought that maybe that was their policy – you get to smoke if you’re close to an open window as long as you blow your fumes outside.

Then, as we had our dinner, a couple sat next to us. The guy held out his pack of Marlboro and lit a cigarette. So I told him that it’s forbidden to smoke here. He replied: really? So I told him: Yes, haven’t you heard of the new law?

He said that he was aware of the law but that he saw many people smoking shisha. So he called the restaurant manager to make sure. The manager came over and I asked him: isn’t your place abiding by the non-smoking law?

His reply? Of course and without a doubt not.

He said so with pride and left. The guy’s date ordered her shisha and she started smoking as well. So I decided to try and call the number to which you can report such incidences. After much searching, someone on twitter let me know that the number you need to call to report restaurants not abiding by the smoking law is 1214 – the hotline of the ministry of health.

I called that number 3 times. It got disconnected almost immediately. They must be sleeping – such a hot hotline, right?

As for Feniqia, I don’t expect it to follow the law anytime soon. Not even when winter rolls around and it can’t leave its windows open for aeration. And being a regular, I haven’t seen them undergo modifications of the place to bring it up to par with the regulations. And for proof’s sake, here are a few pictures.


The numbers that you need to call to report restaurants are either 112 or 1735. Call the numbers when you’re at the restaurant not the following day.

15 thoughts on “Lebanese Restaurants Not Following The Smoking Ban: Feniqia, Jbeil

  1. I doubt that restaurants with Shisha will apply the law, unless they are visited by delegates from the government making sure the law is applied ( which of course I SERIOUSLY doubt )
    But for coffees it will work, yesterday I was inside Lina’s, and not a cigarette was lit πŸ˜€


    • Well they have to apply it – regardless of whether they want to or not. I think Lina’s might be forced to do so seeing as most of its branches are located in greater Beirut where surveillance by the general security is tighter.
      Jbeil is such a long drive for them.
      Incidentally, I was at Batroun’s Crepaway yesterday and the whole place was smoke free as well.


  2. Issue an official warning whereby they have to put a notice on the front door/window which by law cannot be removed. If then they do not follow, issue a $25,000 USD Fine – That’ll teach them πŸ™‚


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  4. Can you guys leave people alone! Can you stop wrecking the economy and the poor man’s business! Seriously, if you have issues with smoking, then go to crepaway, Lina’s, roadster and BK! Do not report people just because they are trying to earn a decent living. People have tried to abide by law 174 and it just ruined their business. Lebanese economy is purely built on shisha, night life and recreational activities. Do not judge restaurant owners unless u’ve been in their shoes!


    • I agree with you Elie. Smoking is a Public Health issue. So what matters more now? What goes into the owners pockets or into my lungs?


    • Dear Pamela,
      Shut the fuck up and grow a pair [of cerebral hemispheres]. If you think nightlife is all about a whisky in one hand a cigarette in the other while you grind on your 27 boyfriends then you should die of lung cancer with that mentality of yours. Clean air is everybody’s right.
      Go die in a corner.


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