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Smoking ban in Sharjah from June 1

posted on 29/05/2008: 1800 views

In A bid to transform Sharjah as a non-smoking emirate and to become one of the elite cities in the world, the government has decided to ban smoking at designated public places from June 1, expected to follow by a total ban.

Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi has issued directions to the Municipalities and Agriculture Department (MAAD) to ban smoking at enclosed public places.

The directive is part of implementing the highest international criteria for the sake of individuals and society, Salem Bin Mohammed Al-Owais, Member of Sharjah Executive Council and Chairman of the MAAD, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Fines for violators of the new law will range from Dh 1,000 to 20,000. Individual violators will be fined Dh 1,000 while corporate violators will be fined Dh20,000, he said.

The ruling was based on the decision of Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council of Sharjah Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al-Qasimi which was issued on April 1.

Smoking hazards for both smokers and passive smokers range from asthma to diseases like cancer. The statistics indicate that three out of 10 inhabitants of the UAE are smokers, which mean that millions of people in the state are subjected to passive smoking and consequently suffer from various diseases.

Public waiting shelters and meeting places, public rest rooms, amusement centres, hospitals and health facilities, hotels and motels and residential suites, enclosed shopping malls, restaurants and coffee shops, enclosed entertainment places, enclosed parking spaces, stores and exhibitions, beauty parlours and hair-cutting saloons, health clubs, barber-shops, buses and pick-ups, taxis, cinemas and theatres and assembly halls and conference rooms in public places.

Smoking ban signs of certain specifications will be installed in these centres. The signs, with its height, logo and clarity, can be easily read and understood by the people.

A dedicated telephone number to inform violations will be soon published by the municipality.

Earlier, Sharjah Ruler had banned smoking Nargila ( Shisha) in Sharjah's coffee shops which was followed by a memo of the executive council in 2000 banning smoking in governmental institutions and department offices in the Emirate. –The Gulf Today


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