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Smoking with child in car banned

Smoking with under 12 children in cars now illegal

Three-year-old bylaws of the federal Anti-Tobacco Law implemented.

June 4, 2013 6:14 by

Have you ever stared angrily at parents who needlessly exposed their children to harmful cigarette smoke? Kipp has certainly handed out our fair share of indignant looks over the years.

As of Monday, smokers irresponsibly exposing children under the age of 12 to second-hand smoke in the car will be fined Dh500, with that amount being doubled for repeat offences. No longer will we have to grit our teeth while looking at drivers who, while enveloped in a puff of thick smoke, don’t even bother to open a window for the children in the back.

It has been over three years since the federal Anti-Tobacco Law was passed by UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2010 – and while pieces of the law have been implemented since, its bylaws were officially approved on Monday. This serves as a green light for authorities to strictly enforce the law in every way possible and provide tougher penalties for those violating it.

According to Khaleej Times, health officials welcomed the bylaws and said time for action against violators had come. The federal law, initially drafted back in 2006, included banning the import of tobacco products unless certain conditions were met.

For one, clear word and image warnings on the box are a must. All kinds of advertisements, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products are forbidden – and can land the offender with a fine between AED100,000 to AED1 million – while jail terms of up to two years will be upheld for those who import tobacco without proper warnings.

Secondly, no licences will be issued to cafes (or shops of similar category) serving any kind of tobacco products inside residential buildings or quarters and all smoking in public places, and on public transport, is strictly forbidden.

As KT reports, we can soon expect a ministry-organised workshop; gathering all stakeholders to decide the step on how this law will be practically enforced. Whatever the course of action may be, it will be refreshing to finally have this law in place – one that many residents in the UAE have waited several years for.

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