Manama: Saudi Arabia’s eastern province has banned smoking in restaurants and closed areas.

Under a new anti-smoking law, no shop can display a poster encouraging or indicating smoking and any shop, regardless of its size, caught selling cigarettes to 18-year-olds and under will be shut down.

The new anti-smoking laws took effect on Saturday.

Reports claim that Saudi Arabia is among the world’s top 25 consumers.

Last month, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre banned smoking in the hospital, including the roof, basement, stairs and hospital vehicles, local daily Arab News reported.

The goal is to encourage smokers see the long-term health benefits.

Visitors and staff are to adhere to the new policy and violators will have to pay 200 riyals.

The centre also launched a no-smoking day in its Jeddah branch to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and the prospective blanket ban.

“This ban comes as a part of our international standards to provide a clean environment inside the hospital in Jeddah and Riyadh,” Hassan Al Gamdi, manager of the centre’s safety and security department in Jeddah, told Arab News.

“At the same time, we will put cameras in the hospital to enforce the ban.”