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Do we smell smoke?
Smokers may face astronomical fines if they break the federal smoking ban.
February 11, 2009 12:22 by Dana El Baltaji
Smokers who flout the new anti-smoking law, which is being considered by the Federal National Council (FNC), face prison time and fines of up to AED1 million, reports Gulf News.
The draft law bans the sale of cigarettes to anyone under 18 years old; it also bans smoking in a car while children younger than 12 years of age are on board. Smoking in enclosed public spaces, shopping malls, schools, universities, hospitals, care homes, sports associations, social and cultural clubs and while using public transportation is also prohibited.
Smoking is only permitted in rooms designed specifically for the purpose in public areas.
If passed, the new law will bring the UAE in line with the World health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which the UAE has committed itself to. The convention requires members to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke, stop tobacco companies from advertising and sponsoring events, increase the price of cigarettes and curb tobacco smuggling.
The Minister of Health, Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, said that the new law will help protect the UAE’s population, as well as reduce the cost of treating those suffering from smoking-related diseases.
The law comes weeks after the Abu Dhabi government delayed the introduction of a smoking ban until the federal law is created. “We don’t want there to be any conflict between the two, so this is why we have received the federal law for review,” said an official to The National at the time.