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Smoke and Mirrors-Dubai’s pointless 24 hour long tobacco ban


Kipp struggles to understand Dubai’s fascination with awareness days, and ‘World No Tobacco Day’ is no different.

June 1, 2012 5:45 by

Kipp’s a smart cookie, but we’ll have to admit there are some things in Dubai which completely baffle us. For example, we can’t wrap our minds around the logic behind pushing people who are trying to leave the metro or the practicality of covering your Blackberry with jewels or the city’s need to celebrate special and pointless ‘awareness days.’

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day—and Dubai is honoring this day by banning supermarkets all over the city from selling any tobacco products. Hyper Panda, Safeer Group, News Center, Cadolle, Spinneys, Carrefour, Choithram, Lulu, Maya, Family, West Zone and J-Mart are all participating in this ban. So, how are tobacco addicts and social smokers in Dubai handling with the news that they won’t be able to get their fix ever again….? Well, here is the thing—the ban applies for only 24 hours.

What kind of a tobacco ban exists for 24 hours, you ask? What is the point of it? After all, people who smoke are likely to stock a stash of cigarettes stashed for a rainy day in their homes.

But Dubai Municipality representative Redha Salman disagrees: “the move is aimed at spreading awareness about the dangers of cigarette smoking and to make people think about the dangers of tobacco consumption, as it kills millions of people and affects public health.”

No it won’t. Kipp doesn’t smoke, but chances are the only thing this ban will make people think is just how silly Dubai can be as opposed to being reflective of how dangerous  ‘tobacco consumption’ really is.

Come on, people! Are we the only one fed up of these stupid days dedicated to a particular cause—that accomplish absolutely nothing? For years Dubai has been flirting with the idea of imposing a tax onto imports of cigarettes. Kipp’s not necessarily a fan of the act, but hey, if you wanted to discourage people from smoking there is a substantial, measurable stand to take against it. Having to pay double for a packet of cigarette may make some smokers think twice; but this namby pamby World No Tobacco Day is likely to cause smokers to go to a non-participating supermarket or grocery store to get their nicotine fix.

Then again, World No Tobacco Day allows Dubai to remain on chummy terms with their nicotine pals and still pat themselves on the back for ‘taking a stand against tobacco.’ Whoopee, everyone wins.


  1. chaz on May 31, 2012 5:41 am

    Just a publicity stunt.
    No meaning and no thought.
    So to stop road accidents, no sales of cars on a day as well?

  2. Hippo_crit on May 31, 2012 10:04 am

    You know Kipp, sometimes you just nag for no reason, yes it’s cool to have attitude but when your comments are not so smart, it aint that cool no more.
    There is no “one way” to stop people from smoking, and Dubai is not just doing one thing. There is a tax on tobacco, building and shared spaces are smoke free, there are hefty fines for smoking in offices… That doesnt mean that Dubai shouldnt build on the fact that there is a no smoking day and create a buzz around the importance of that day. i could go on but im just gonna leave my comment brief… thats if it was published.
    Good job for whoever thought of the idea, it created so much buzz around that day unlike in other countries where nothing was even done.
    love Hippo


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