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Saudi Arabia bans smoking at all KSA airports and facilities
Despite anti-smoking legislation passed in 2003,smoking is on the rise in Saudi Arabia.
June 22, 2010 10:00 by Katherine Azmeh
The Council of Ministers urged the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to ban smoking at all airports and their facilities in the Kingdom on Monday. It also advised GACA to impose a fine of SR200 on people who violate the new regulations.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, approved the recommendations of the 150-member Shoura Council.
Although the Kingdom passed anti-smoking regulations in August 2003, the habit is growing among its population. There are six million smokers in the country who puff away SR8 billion every year. According to one report, smoking-related diseases kill at least 33 people in the Kingdom each month.
Saudi Arabia ranks fourth in the world in terms of cigarette consumption and 41st in terms of population. As many as 13 billion cigarettes are imported into the Kingdom every year.
About 10 percent of the Kingdom’s total smokers are women and 19.3 percent are teenagers. Studies have shown that 13 to 15 percent of young men and women live with smokers and are subjected to passive smoking.
The Cabinet meeting reviewed the current foreign tour of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and hoped his visits to Canada, the United States, Morocco and France would produce results.
The Cabinet referred to the launch of Ghazal-1, the first Saudi car designed by King Saud University students, adding it boded well for the Kingdom’s decision to invest in a knowledge economy.
The Cabinet decided to sign an accord with South Africa for the repatriation of convicts and accused in criminal cases.
It also approved the contracts that were signed to carry out a major housing project in Jazan, accommodating people displaced as a result of attacks by Yemeni intruders last year. The project includes 6,000 housing units, 31 mosques, 35 schools, five health centers and infrastructure facilities.