If you’re planning on a little trip to Turkmenistan anytime soon, don’t expect to be able to light up while you’re there.
The president of the Central Asian nation has reportedly banned the sale of all tobacco products in the country.
According to the Independent, local reports from inside the tightly controlled nation allege that the sale of all tobacco products has been outlawed, essentially putting a stop to smoking in the country.
Apparently, any shop caught selling cigarettes or tobacco products faces a fine of up to 6,900 manats – the equivalent of around £1,200.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, local independent news website Chrono-TM says that a black market has already sprung up on the streets of the capital, Ashgabat, with contraband packs of cigarettes already going for more than £8 a pop.
Admittedly, we can’t say we know a great deal about Turkmenistan, but the word is that current president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow is considered something of a health nut and is often photographed cycling and fishing outdoors in his spare time.
And, by the sounds of it, a health kick may be exactly what the country needs, given that the average life expectancy in Turkmenistan is just 65 years.
So, although stress levels may be about to increase with the ban of cigarettes, in the long term it could actually be a good thing for the people.