UAE readies for far-reaching tobacco law

| December 30, 2013

As the United   Arab Emirates prepares to implement its Anti-Tobacco Law on January 21, one health official has said that she has been in talks with the National Media Council (NMC) to prevent indirect promotion of tobacco through newspaper articles, according to a story in the Khaleej Times.

Dr. Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the National Tobacco Control Committee at the Health Ministry, said she was in talks with the NMC to prevent indirect promotion of tobacco through newspaper articles. “According to the law and bylaws, direct or indirect promotion of tobacco is prohibited…,” she said.

The law bans the growing or manufacture of tobacco for commercial purposes, and it sets out technical standards, including those to do with large front-of-the-pack health warnings, that have to be met by imported tobacco products.

It bans tobacco-product advertising and it prohibits tobacco products from being displayed near sportswear, health products, food, electronic products and any items aimed at young people. And it bans the sale of tobacco products within 100 meters of places of worship, and within 150 meters of kindergartens, schools, universities and colleges.

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 years, and they will be forbidden from delivering shishas to apartments.

Wedad said that the Sharjah Municipality had already started implementing the law and had recently banned the sale of cigarettes in grocery stores. “Sharjah is the only city in the world that does not have shisha cafes,” she said.

Meanwhile, Wedad said that it would be the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior to enforce a law on smoking in cars carrying people under 12 years of age. “In New York, a person is fined even if caught smoking in a car with only a child seat present,” she added.

Category: Breaking News

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