All grocery stores in residential areas and near schools in the United Arab Emirates city of Sharjah have been banned from selling cigarettes, according to a story in The National.
The ban, effective immediately, was passed on April 2 by the Sharjah Municipal Council.
Dr. Wedad Al Maidoor, head of tobacco control at the Ministry of Health, welcomed the decision, calling it “very good news”. He said that though it was not possible to prevent children from starting to smoke, the ban would make it more difficult for them to do so.
The ban is part of a series of anti-tobacco measures aimed at tackling smoking in the UAE.
A federal law on tobacco control was introduced in early 2009 and partly phased-in during 2011. It bans the sale of tobacco products to people under 18; smoking in cars in the presence of children under 12; smoking in houses of worship, educational institutes and health or sports facilities; and selling sweets resembling tobacco products.
Other regulations have banned smoking in shopping centers and shisha cafés near residential areas.
And in August, the Gulf Cooperation Council Standards Organization ruled all cigarette packs imported into the region had to come with one of three graphic health warnings.
Category: Breaking News