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Stubbing out the smoke

Stubbing out the smoke

The UAE government is hoping that its new anti-tobacco law will help the country’s smokers kick the habit.


January 7, 2010 3:38 by

The UAE government finally passed its long-awaited federal law against tobacco on Wednesday. According to official news agency WAM, the law imposes several restrictions on the use of tobacco and its products and bans a number of practices including: The import of tobacco and its by-products into the UAE unless specific requirements such as “clear word and image warnings on the box” are met.

1.The advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products.

2.Smoking on public transport and in public closed places.

3.The use of tobacco products while driving a vehicle if a child of less than 12 years is present.

4.Smoking in places and houses of worship, and in educational, health and sports facilities.

5.The selling of tobacco products to those below 18 years of age.

6.The cultivation of tobacco and import of tobacco-lookalike sweets and toys.

The law also states that no licenses will be given to cafes or outlets serving any type of tobacco products inside residential buildings or near them. However, Hanif Hassan, the UAE’s health minister, said that smoking areas could be designated at indoor places “under specific rules,” provided a permit is obtained from the relevant authorities.

The legislation states that a national anti-tobacco committee will be set up to enforce the law, which also lays down strict punishments for violators: they can be fined up to AED1 million and also face a jail term of two years. The law also allows the court to close down firms found breaching the law.

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