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No ifs, ands or ‘butts’
Executive regulations of anti-tobacco law announced
August 22, 2013 12:13 by kippreport
If you’ve been smoking in the car with your child in the backseat, it’s time you put an end to the habit. From January 21, smoking in a vehicle with a child under the age of 12 present, will be classed as a federal offence.
The Ministry of Health has recently announced the executive regulations of the anti-tobacco federal law, in the Cabinet’s Resolution No. 24 issued on July 21, 2013.
According to national news agency WAM, the resolution comes into effect six months from the date of issuance.
The regulations – approved by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE – are part of the government’s plan to establish an effective national anti-tobacco strategy.
The law also aims to reduce smoking among youth. A study carried out in Abu Dhabi showed that 28 per cent of children aged 15 years and younger are smokers, and 30 per cent of people aged 18 also smoke regularly.
As far as advertising tobacco products is concerned, the law bans all forms of promotion, including newspaper advertisements, animations and TV commercials. Importing products that are not in line with technical standards set by the UAE can lead to a one-year prison sentence and a fine ranging from AED$100,000 to AED$1 million.
All products must now display a large warning label on the front to raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco, as well as avoiding any misleading advertising. Violators of the specifications of this law will be fined AED$100,000 to AED$1m, with fines being doubled for repeat offences.
Also under the new law, Shisha cafes will have to be at least 150 metres away from residential areas. It is also illegal to serve shishas to customers younger than 18 years of age and cafes will be forbidden from delivering shishas to apartments.
The UAE anti-tobacco law was drafted by the Ministry of Health in 2006. In December 2009, the UAE issued its own federal anti-tobacco law.