UAE Drafting ‘Tough’ Anti-Smoking Law
The UAE’s Health Ministry is preparing legislation expected to ban smoking in public places, a ministry official said Tuesday, quoted by the Gulf News.
“The draft law will be issued by Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Madfa, the minister of health, next month,” said Mahmoud Fikri, assistant undersecretary for preventive medicine.
"The ministry of health has formed a national anti-smoking committee which will set strict laws to fight smoking," he said. "We have nearly finished most of the articles. Some of these are still under discussion and we will finalize them in the next two weeks. The final draft law will be submitted to the cabinet next month."
Fikri said the law included the following points: “a national committee will be formed to fight smoking, standards and specifications will be imposed on tobacco products, strict controls will be exercised on tobacco advertisements, tobacco sales to anyone below the age of 18 will be prohibited, tobacco will be heavily taxed to reduce consumption, and smoking will be banned in public places.”
"We are party to an international treaty signed with WHO on the protection of children against smoking. We are trying to protect our children from this dangerous habit and we will fight anyone who tries to ruin the health of our youth," he told the paper.
According to the paper, a ban on smoking in public places will please health experts who have long warned of the dangers of passive smoking. “A ban would boost the UAE's international image as a health-conscious country,” said VS Gopal, medical director of Ahlia Hospital in Abu Dhabi – Albawaba.com
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