Smoking rule stipulates stiff fines - UAE INFO

Feb 11, 2009

Smoking rule stipulates stiff fines

Abu Dhabi: Stiff penalties including prison and fines of up to Dh1 million will be imposed on individuals or companies for the violation of a new federal anti-smoking law passed by the Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday.

The draft law includes a ban on the sale of cigarettes to youngsters under 18 years and smoking in a private car while a child aged below 12 is on board.

As a signatory to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the UAE is required to adhere to international standards on tobacco control measures, such as reducing exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke. The convention also includes measures to restrict advertising and sponsorship, increase tobacco prices and taxation and cut down smuggling.

The fines will be doubled if the offence is repeated. The law bans smoking in closed public places, on public transport, in shopping malls, schools, universities, hospitals, care homes, sports associations and social and cultural clubs.

In other places, special rooms can be designated for smokers.

Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Health, said the law not only aims at protecting the health of all segments of society but also at reducing the country's financial burden from treating patients suffering from smoking-related diseases.

The law also prohibits growing and manufacturing of tobacco for commercial purposes. Existing factories and farms have to adjust their status in keeping with the law. No cigarette consignment will be allowed into the country unless it complies with the conditions set by authorities.

The law bans licensing of cafes and similar shops which offer tobacco or its products inside buildings or in villas occupied by Emirati families.

The law will fix the highest permitted level of nicotine and tar as well as other harmful substances in cigarettes. Details of the cigarettes' ingredients as well as warnings and instructions.

No comments: