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Smoking banned while driving children under 12

Upcoming law will ban people from smoking in vehicle when children are present

09 Gulf News

Dubai: The upcoming anti-tobacco law will ban smoking in private vehicles if a child younger than 12 years is present in the car.

The ban aims to protect children from being exposed to cigarette smoke, and is part of the executive regulations announced by the Ministry of Health on Monday for the anti-tobacco federal law issued by the Cabinet on July 21. The resolution will come into effect six months from its issuance.

The law also aims to reduce smoking among youth. A study carried out in Abu Dhabi showed that 28 per cent of children aged 15 years and younger, are smokers, while 30 per cent of people aged 18 and are smokers.

The law bans any content that advertises tobacco products, such as newspaper advertisements, TV commercials and animations. It also bans importing tobacco products that are not line with technical standards set by the UAE, and any violations regarding such imports can lead to a one year prison sentence and a fine ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh1 million, in addition to the confiscation of products.

The law also provides specifications on the packaging of tobacco products. All products must now display a large warning label on the front to raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco, and not to mislead them. Violators will be fined Dh100,000 to Dh1 million, and the fines can be doubled if the offence is repeated.

Tobacco products cannot be displayed near items marketed for children, or sportswear, health, food and electronic products. Tobacco products are also forbidden to be sold in locations that are 100 metres away from places of worship, and 15 metres away from kindergartens, schools, universities and colleges.

Sheesha cafés will also have to be at least 150 metres away from residential areas. The regulations also specify that these cafés working hours will be from 10am to 12pm. Sheeshas will not be served to customers younger than 18 years of age, and the cafés will be forbidden from delivering sheeshas to apartments.

Growing or producing tobacco for commercial purposes will also be forbidden, and current manufacturing plants have been given a grace period of 10 years to sort out their situation, and tobacco farms have been given a two-year grace period.