UAE | Government

Smoking rule stipulates stiff fines

Stiff penalties including prison and fines of up to Dh1 million will be imposed on individuals or companies for the violation of a new federal anti-smoking law passed by the Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday.

  • By Samir Salama, Associate Editor
  • Published: 23:04 February 10, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi: Stiff penalties including prison and fines of up to Dh1 million will be imposed on individuals or companies for the violation of a new federal anti-smoking law passed by the Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday.

The draft law includes a ban on the sale of cigarettes to youngsters under 18 years and smoking in a private car while a child aged below 12 is on board.

As a signatory to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the UAE is required to adhere to international standards on tobacco control measures, such as reducing exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke. The convention also includes measures to restrict advertising and sponsorship, increase tobacco prices and taxation and cut down smuggling.

The fines will be doubled if the offence is repeated. The law bans smoking in closed public places, on public transport, in shopping malls, schools, universities, hospitals, care homes, sports associations and social and cultural clubs.

In other places, special rooms can be designated for smokers.

Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Health, said the law not only aims at protecting the health of all segments of society but also at reducing the country's financial burden from treating patients suffering from smoking-related diseases.

The law also prohibits growing and manufacturing of tobacco for commercial purposes. Existing factories and farms have to adjust their status in keeping with the law. No cigarette consignment will be allowed into the country unless it complies with the conditions set by authorities.

The law bans licensing of cafes and similar shops which offer tobacco or its products inside buildings or in villas occupied by Emirati families.

The law will fix the highest permitted level of nicotine and tar as well as other harmful substances in cigarettes. Details of the cigarettes' ingredients as well as warnings and instructions.

Are you opposed or for the new smoking ban? Do think the new ban will prove effective in reducing smoking in public areas in Abu Dhabi?



Your comments


Extremely good move. It is very suffocating when a person enters a lift while someone is smoking. Is there any special number to call to inform about the voilaters of such rules? The public is solely responsible to bring such voilaters to the notice of the law, the authorities cannot be everywhere all the time.
Kiran Karkera
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 14:15

Why don't the authorities fully ban cigarettes?
Abdul Jaleel M. V.
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 12:54

This is a good initivate by the FNC, but has to be implemented well.
G. Mathews
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 12:48

Great decision and thanks to the authorities for providing a healthier living environment. However, still some people are smoking in buses and taxi stations. They should be penalised.
Unni
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 12:33

I hope Abu Dhabi will be strict with this new rule because I am sure a lot of people will be happy.
Loel Gomez
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 11:37

This is a good innovation for the people and the country. I would like to thank the authorities for this.
Syed Othman Gani
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 11:26

Complete the ban properly by including restaurants and bars as well. Then it is enjoyable to go out.
Nathan
Ras Al Khaimah,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 11:23

I have been smoking for more than half of my life and I am always, very eager to welcome a smoking ban and restrictions. I regret having learned this habit and always advice anyone who wishes or wants to try smoking that they too, like me, will regret it. Great move and initiative from the authorities.
Armando Beltran Jr.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 11:23

I welcome the new law wholeheartedly. If implemented in the right spirit along with some awareness drives among community members, this could prove to be much more beneficial. I hope there would be more and more health-oriented legislation to follow to protect the young people from health hazards!
Thomas
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 11:23

I am glad that the authorities are taking measures to stop Cancer from spreading by putting a ban on smoking and shishas. I have a cafe below my building in Khalidiya which offers different flavours of Cancer. The authorities must take action, because we have small children who are playing out there and they are affected with the second hand smoking. Please put this article and let the authorities take strict action on such places.
Nasser Ali
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 11:10

People please totally eradicate the smoking
Bhargavi
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 11:02

There is no one behind this though there is a ban on smoking in public places. I go to shopping malls and still see smokers everywhere. Not many people bother. The authorities should take strict actions and also hold the owners of these firms responsible if smoking is found in these places.
Jayakumar
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 11:01

Great work! Let us build this country on healthier principals.
Alex
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:59

The law indeed will promote a healthy society, of course if applied. Recently, I have been to a billiards club in Al Karama in Dubai, and everyone was smoking. It would require more than just slapping "No smoking by Law".stickers on the doors.
Mahmoud
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:41

I want to know is there any strict law in Abu Dhabi against the smokers at construction sites. Also, I need the reference of the clause.
Hafeez
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:32

The new regulations are all well and fine, and the UAE is doing a commendable job in this regard, what I, and many others, want to know is, instead of creating all kinds of rules and regulations, why not just simply ban the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products. I am a compulsive smoker and I have tried to quit the habit unsuccessfuly many times. Believe me, by banning the sale people would be forced to quit.
Abdul Aziz
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:21

Why don't the other emirates implicate same rule for a good cause,
Mir Shourath Ali
Bur Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:17

This New Smoking Ban must not be only in Abu Dhabi it should extented to Al Ain too. In Al Ain many of the cafes and Internet centre seems like chimneys of factories. Many times it is obsorved that the parents come with their young chldren to the cybercafe and spend hours together over there either for chating or for calling overseas. Children exposed to this high rate of passive smoking. It is suffocating for non smoking adult imagine the plight of the child. Even though there are no smoking boards, neither do public follow it nor the owner of the cafe insist for no smoking.
Anand
Al Ain,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:10

This is one of the best decisions. I love this.
Mohammad Adil
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:01

Oh that's so good! Enough of people slouching around smoking in cafes, roadsides, etc.
Eleeza Dev
Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:01

This is one of the best decisions yet!
Mohammad Adil
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 10:00

I whole heartedly welcome the decision of the authorities. I suggest to make random inspections in offices and other public places to see that people who are selfish and smoke do hot harm the well-being of others. I think people who smoke are very inconsiderate.
Audrey
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:55

This is a very positive measure that has been taken to curb smoking so that others are not affected by it. I am a smoker myself and I have given it up several times for months together but it still come back , I will give it up someday completely.
Leslie Fernandes
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:52

It will be very nice if the ban was there so people would only be allowed to smoke in there homes and not on the streets. And just to think of the poor children, how much smoke do they inhale and then what will happen if the child gets cancer? Who is to blame then? Only the parents.
Jurina
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:41

Yes, the smoking ban is the best thing to happen in 2009 for the UAE, as there are a lot of people who smoke, which is really dangerous to one's health. I hope all the people living in this country abide by the law and make it a smoke-free country, which will definitely have better health results and a much better environment to live in with a less polluted atmosphere. So time for smokers to think about quitting.
Loraine D'souza
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:39

A mall in Abu Dhabi has publish a 'no smoking' sign within the mall. However, surprisingly, why is there a cafe in the mall that allows smoking?
Romeo Castillo
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:38

I am in favour of the ban in all public places. But i feel it is our duty to teach, especially the low-income group the ill effects of smoking, and what it will lead to ultimately. Yes people can argue that it is their money they are burning, but please do take care not to smoke in front of others, especially children , pregnant ladies, etc.
L. V. S. Narayanan
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:30

Our two bosses were the only people smoking inside our office (heavy smokers), although they have their own room, we are still exposed to secondhand smoke. How to tell them nicely? Because none of my colleagues have the guts to tell them.
Celyn
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:19

It's really an excellent move, eventhough it will be a bit hard for the smokers. But they too will realise it is really good for all, including them, as it saves them from bad health and the problem they cause to others. I have come across many smokers who left smoking after a few years they say it was really bad for them to smoke as it spoiled their health and other's. I believe in more strict control and will help all. Save people from adversity of smoking. Environment friendly.
Sooryabhat
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:19

It is a good law if people will follow it. Smoking is not good for all. So, I appreciate the decision made by the authorities of Abu Dhabi.
Bajwa
dubai,Pakistan
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:06

This is a welcoming decision from Abu Dhabi authorities. I would request it should be extended to the rest of the UAE as well
Ramachandran Ramakrishnan
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:06

Ridiculous. The world is full of smokers. Give them some space. Forcing smoking underground with massive penalties will always make the activity attractive. Such laws are also difficult to enforce and are a burden on the police. How can you ban a substance that is sold in the country? Don't try to re-invent the wheel every time you see the possibility. Take heed from other countries with more experience in social matters like this. Even as a non-smoker I find this list of ideas really inefficient.
M. Forjustice
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 09:01

That's the best law for 2009! Bravo! We know how dangerous smoking is. Whether you are the smoker or the person who doesn't smoke. The authorities' decision to protect its contituents shows the value of life of each individual. I hope other nations will also adopt UAE laws against the preservation of each life through the regulation of tobacco. Thanks again to the law makers of the FNC.
Alvin
Dubai,Philippines
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:55

Yes, surely it will work out. Very good decision.
Rajendra Kurup
Chengannur,India
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:48

It is sad that laws are being passed only to save humans. What about our animals, especially camels? Humans can out of choice avoid going to places that are polluted, be it waste or smoke. Are we waiting for camels to be on the endangered list to start acting to protect them? The least the authorities could do is ban plastic bags, I am sure supermarkets can afford to provide shoppers with paper bags.
Richard Sanfrancis
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:48

Yes, shops should not sell cigarettes to children below the age of 18 years.
Fahad Moideen
Sharjah,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:42

I come from Scotland where smoking is banned everywhere, can you please clarify if restaurants are included?
Gordon Morrison
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:40

Good one. Also restrict in public parks and beaches. Good beginning though.
Hajanizam Al Deen
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:40

I don't know why they don't ban the trade of tobacco? People will stop smoking in public areas, but what if they smoke in private areas? They will stop smoking in front of minors in cars but they will smoke in front of them at home!
Omar Salman Rahim
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:32

Half the people are smokers. You cannot just bank smoking from cafes, why do you think people go to cafes and sit for hours for?! All malls, cafes, restaurants must have designated smokers areas.
From A Reader
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:23

Excellent rule! I really appreciate the new rule of smoking ban in public places. This rule would really help people.
Prashant Menon
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:20

This is a good first step. Smoking is one of the most filthy habits that humans have. Non-smokers should never have to be subjected to the cancer causing secondhand smoke that most smokers happily share. Not to mention the horrible litter of cigarette butts all over our beaches, roads and sidewalks.
Rick
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:20

I think it will reduce smoking but I also think this rule should be emphacised. I think the only way to quit is to ban smoking completely for atleast six months... just for a trial.
Ali
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:14

Yes, I welcome the ban. It should be imposed not only in Abu Dhabi, but also all over the world. The law should be strictly implemented in private offices and establishments.
Gangadharan Nambiar
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 08:13

It is a good move by the authorities. It will be better if they restricted smoking in any centralised air-conditioned building, as it has a great impact on the children and women in the other flats and are affecting their health.
Rani Bharathan
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 07:59

I am a supporter. Definetly, it will give a positive result.
Madhu
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 07:55

That's a great move taken by the Federal National Council, because smokers not only harm themselves but also the people surrounding them, as for instance my manager smokes a lot. Whenever I discuss or sit beside him, he never stops smoking, so by bad luck, I have to suffer and smell that smoke. He also smokes in kitchen and in the car, so I think it's a great idea and I fully support the new smoking ban.
Raed Mohammad Hassan
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 07:41

As someone who quit smoking 15 months ago, I welcome these initiatives. They help me stay a non-smoker. Of course when I was a smoker I would not have liked them.
Sophie Grant
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 07:20

Why all this fuss? Just ban the sales of shisha, cigarettes and all other smoking commodities. I am totaly against the new rules.
Faisal Majid
Dubai,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 01:46

Why does the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control try its best to implement smoking rules. I suggest the ban of growing and selling of tobacco if they really think they want the world to be healthy.
Ess
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 11, 2009, 00:33

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