UAE to Introduce Smoking Ban by the End of 2016




The UAE has announced that smoking will be banned in public areas by the end of 2016, according to reports.


The National Tobacco Control Committee of the UAE are working on a proposal to amend the Federal Tobacco Control Law, making public spaces 100 percent smoke-free. The ban will lead to the removal of designated smoking areas in all public places, including malls, restaurants and bars. Smoking would become limited to private buildings and homes.


According to Gulf News and Dr. Wedad Al Maidour, who heads up the Tobacco Control Programme at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, spoke to assembled reporters at the mobile smoking cessation clinic on World No Tobacco Day.
Dr Al Maidour told the group, Gulf News reports, that the UAE is currently ranked as a “red zone” by the World Health Organisation when it comes to the consumption and sales of tobacco products. “They are pushing us to change the law from having designated smoking areas to 100 per cent smoke-free areas in public spaces,” said Dr Al Maidour said.
Most public areas in the UAE are already smoke-free, said Dr Al Maidour. “But, we are still allowing people to smoke in designated areas and restaurants,” she added. “That needs to be stopped in order for us to change our status from the red zone.” 

Currently, violation of anti-smoking rules is already punishable. Under existing laws, People caught smoking in banned areas and also in cars while in the company of children under the age of 12 can be fined Dhs500.

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