In bringing in strict new anti-tobacco regulations on Jan. 21, the UAE is, in some respects, leapfrogging the policies of many countries that would normally be regarded as being fiercely anti-tobacco.
The UAE will from that date ban smoking in private cars containing people under the age of 12 years, and it will introduce penalties for underage smoking, according to a story in The National, Abu Dhabi.
In addition, the law will ban the growing or manufacture of tobacco for commercial purposes.
It will ban tobacco-product advertising and prohibit tobacco products from being displayed near sportswear, health products, food, electronic products and any items aimed at young people.
And it will ban the sale of tobacco products from vending machines, within 100 meters of places of worship and within 150 meters of kindergartens, schools, universities and colleges.
It sets out technical standards, including those to do with large front-of-the-pack health warnings, which have to be met by imported tobacco products.
Shisha cafés will have to be at least 150 meters away from residential areas and their opening times will be restricted. Shisha cafés will not be allowed to serve customers younger than 18, and they will be forbidden from delivering shishas to apartments.
Dr. Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the national tobacco control committee at the Ministry of Health, believes the strict controls on where cigarettes may be sold, point-of-sale policies and the ban on tobacco advertisements will mean smoking will eventually die out.