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Three-month ultimatum to tobacco companies on graphic warnings

Authorites crack the whip on firms playing truant; new rule will also regulate smoke-free areas, sale of tobacco and advertising

  • by sharmila dhal, senior reporter
  • Published: 23:01 September 12, 2012

  • Image Credit:
  • look before you smoke: Such disturbing pictorial warnings will be found on all tobacco products in the UAE, come December
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Dubai Tobacco companies have been given an ultimatum of three months to put graphic warnings on cigarette packs being sold in the UAE even as a stringent by-law of the Federal Tobacco Law is set to come into effect by year-end, a top official of the Ministry of Health told XPRESS.

Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, Head of the National Tobacco Control Committee under the Ministry of Health, said the companies had been ordered to implement a new ruling on pictorial and textual warnings by August 9, but they had sought more time to clear out huge stocks of old packs still held.

Tobacco lobby

She said: “Tobacco companies are backed by a big lobby that resists any new measures or laws that clamp down on smoking and protect people’s health.

“We have extended the deadline for them to comply with the new rule till the end of the year, but after that no cigarette pack will be allowed into the country without the warnings.”

Dr Wedad said a by-law of the Federal Tobacco Law will be passed by year-end, ensuring that tobacco products contain one of the pictorial warnings (see pictures) approved by the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (Esma).

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She said current regulations only allow for the control of tobacco use as against an effective ban. But once the by-law comes into effect, it will also permit strict enforcement of regulations concerning the maintenance of smoke-free areas, sale of tobacco products and media advertising.

“Groceries and supermarkets will no longer be allowed to sell and display these products at the cashier.

“No promotions will be allowed and there will be a complete ban against advertising of tobacco products in any form,” she said.

Comments (3)

Your Comments
  1. Added 16:46 September 13, 2012

    Why not popularize the method that has been proven over and over to be successful in stopping smoking?? Check out Allen Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking !! :D. This method will surely enable any smoker to stop easily and successfully. Banning or other phoney methods won't work. If there is a demand, there will be a supply and ppl will find means to do it

    Allen Carr, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 09:54 September 13, 2012

    Why not impose a ban rather than wasting money on graphic warnings. I also want to stop smoking and the easiest way for me to do it is when there is no more cigarettes available in the market to buy.

    jun, Sharjah, Philippines

  3. Added 09:05 September 13, 2012

    why dont the authorities BAN Cigirattes in UAE?

    Femid Najeeb, Dubai, United Arab Emirates