Hussain Nasser Lootah, acting Director General of the Municipality, said the move was in line with the instructions given by the Executive Council on the proposal submitted by the municipality in this regard.
"On May 31, the programme will be formally announced. This will include a ban on smoking in government departments and other public establishments, following which a media campaign will be launched to educate the public on the decision," he said.
The regulations on smoking in shopping malls and amusement centres will be in place by September 15, Lootah said. "From November 15 onwards, all food establishments and other places related to public health, including beauty salons, hotels and cinemas will have to regulate smoking inside their premises. From 2008, fines will be imposed on violators as per the Local Order No.11 of 2003 pertaining to public health and environment," he added.
Senior municipality officials said the regulations would include a blanket ban on smoking in places like schools, educational establishments, salons, health clubs, internet cafes, food courts and offices.
"The shopping malls, cafes and restaurants must designate smoking lounges or corners that should meet all the prerequisites such as proper ventilation and smoke absorbers. In addition, people below the age of 21 will not be allowed to enter these smoking zones," they noted.
Dr Mariam Mattar, Assistant Under Secretary for Public Health and Primary Health Care at the Ministry of Health (MoH) said the law had to be in place before the MoH submits a report on fulfilling the criteria on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by 2008."Strict implementation of the ban will save the MoH billions of dollars which it is spending on diseases caused as a result of smoking," she explained. "Once in place, strict enforcement of the ban will be required. This will require more human resources," she added. However, Dr Jassim Klaib, National Coordinator on Tobacco Control with the WHO and GCC region and head of the National Committee on Tobacco Control admitted that the MoH was trying to overcome the strong tobacco lobby in the country.
Garvit Yildiz & Dilek Yildiz claim second place on a countback at the Fire course
The outcome may change if the borrower gets a new job after termination
KT reader asks if the company can be sued for refusing to provide more fuel allowance
Lowest temperature today is expected to drop to 11ºC in some parts of the country