Smoking in the region
Tobacco kills more than five million people every year; Gulf nations are taking measures to help people kick the habit.
July 1, 2009 3:49 by Aarti Nagraj
In April this year, Bahrain introduced strict new laws on smoking in indoor public places, including restaurants, cafes, hotels and hair salons, public transport and in private cars – where there are children.
The new legislation outlaws the advertising of cigarettes and the promotion of tobacco-products by manufacturing and importing companies at sports events, reported Gulf News.
The UAE is also planning a draft anti-smoking law, which will ban the advertisement of tobacco products in all forms of media in the country. Fines for violating the ban will range from AED500,000 to AED1 million. The law will also ban the presence of children in shisha cafes, and the import of candy and toys that resemble tobacco products, among other things.
Smoking is already banned in Dubai’s hotels, malls, restaurants, cafes and sports halls. Violators will be fined AED1,000. The city started implementing the ban in phases from 2007.
There have been several additions to the public places as specified by the ban: in December 2007, nightclubs and bars were included, and in August 2008, public parks also entered the banned list. The Public Health Department also said that it was planning to make Dubai’s roads and beaches smoke-free.