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200203.  Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:46 pm Reply with quote

Maybe the 95% of the population who don't smoke are very happy.

Nick James
265019.  Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:50 pm Reply with quote

"Bhutan hopes to be the first country in the world to eradicate smoking completely. "

What an awesome policy. My dad has suffered dreadfully as a result of smoking, and so if i had my way i would ban it in Britain - unfortunately i'm only 16 so nothing's happened yet!

This fact may not come as news to anyone, but lung cancer is not the only disease caused by smoking. If one smokes for long enough, you can get something called an "Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm" or AAA. This is what dad got, and the operation is fairly simple, but due to a loss in blood pressure afterwards, some spinal nerves became damaged and he became paraplegic and doubly incontinent.

The lesson here (despite my being 16 and lecturing you being wholly inappropriate) is don't smoke. You could end up in a wheelchair relying on a leg bag and facing a trawl through reems of red tape to ensure the necessary funds to renovate your house to make it wheelchair friendly

What is stated above is my reason for admiring Bhutan for trying to eradicate smoking.

265081.  Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:31 pm Reply with quote

You're right of course Nick - smoking isn't very good for one, and all of here who smoke are well aware of that. Sorry to hear of your dad's illness.

It would be impossible to ban smoking in the UK though, even if there were a political will to do so (which there isn't, because of the vast contribution that excise duty on tobacco makes to the Exchequer).

Only a very small proportion of Bhutanese smoked in the first place - discussed upthread, it was somewhere between 1 and 5% - and the population of the whole country is only about 1 million, so it was rather easier for them.

266183.  Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:32 am Reply with quote

So smoking apart, do they actually quote figures for Gross National Happiness? And do they report on how the information is gathered and colated?

266231.  Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:57 am Reply with quote

Bhutan doesn't give a great deal of information out, and precisely how they determine the GNH seems not to be readily available information.

I've found various links to the website of something called the Center for Bhutan Studies which appear to suggest that that site might explain the matter, but the website seems no longer to exist.

There's been some interest in other countries though of the related concept of a Genuine Progress Indicator - Canada and the Netherlands in particular are interested in this idea - and there have been conferences of the great and good aimed at determining just how to calculate it.


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