Dubrovnik! A Smoke-Free Place! Well, Almost

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This one should not be taken lightly, as it comes by someone who has rolled God knows how many cigarettes in his long life.

This should not be taken as pro-smoking propaganda or a push for some particular tobacco brand, either. Those who smoke will understand.

Coming to the tobacconist and being told that all they have is four brands of tobacco, all of them arrivals from a couple of months back, and none of the four being something you ever wanted to try, feels like coming to a remote petrol station with your car in catastrophic reserve and being told that they have run out of the fuel you need last year with new supplies pending. 

In a city like Dubrovnik, where hundreds of thousands of people from all corners of the world and buy smoking tobacco throughout the year, the case overgrows my poor addicted body by large. 

Yes, my disillusion was total when the assistant made me feel each of the four different packs of some tobacco drier than the sand in the Sahara and most probably, equally as old. No, thanks. 

What is actually happening? The key word is Agrokor. I am sure all of you have heard about this economic giant gone bad. Very bad, that is. Well, among uncountable companies in its portfolio stands a chain called ‘Tisak’, Croatia’s largest distributor of newspapers, cigarettes, tobacco, smoking paraphernalia and a million other items (random items that one never pays attention to, basically). With its mother company drowning in debts of billions of euros, Tisak is holding on to its hand on its way down to the bottom of the sea. Okay, who cares. Well, I do! Many do, many tourists do, as Tisak in reality, apart from no more than three or four other places of the sort, is the only company selling tobacco in Dubrovnik.

I am a good, Dubrovnik host and I want you all to have fun and cigarettes (and to leave your money here, obviously). But this tragic choice of the poison you chronically need is utterly discouraging at the moment. If you are coming over, bring some in reserve unless you want to smoke the equivalent of salad past its sell-by-date – just in case things do not improve, which, given the state of its mother company; won’t be any time soon. This is just one of the harms the monopoly of a corporative economy incurs upon us. I mean, no tobacco, really? I do admit smoking is dangerous and nor am I advocating for it, but life without its guilty pleasures loses every sense, does it not?

In a note, I do hope somebody responsible by some miracle comes across this and enhances the supplies in this little city as of this moment. For money, of course. They do not give a sh*t about our lives, anyway.


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