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The Cabinet to Implement A Ban on Smoking

The Cabinet will discuss the means of implementing a ban on in public and the places to be included under the decision, according to a top government official.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and Government Spokesperson Nabil Sharif said the Cabinet will also define the stages through which the ban will be implemented in those places where implementation will be gradual.

The Cabinet on decided to ban smoking in ministries and government institutions as well as public places as of May 25, in accordance to the Public Health Law that prohibits smoking in public places.

According to the law, public places include hospitals, , schools, cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums, public and non-governmental buildings, public transport vehicles, airports, closed playgrounds, lecture halls and any other location to be determined by the health minister.

The law also stipulates that any person caught smoking in a public place is subject to between one week and one month imprisonment or a JD15-JD25 fine. The same penalties apply to those who sell cigarettes to underage youths.

The Restaurants Association (JRA) requested a postponement of the ban to conduct a study on the feasibility of implementing the law and people’s acceptance of it.

According to the results of the study, which was finalized in February, a majority of those surveyed, including non-smokers, said they were against the ban.

In the survey, 50 per cent of non-smoking restaurant customers and 33 per cent of non-smokers who patronize coffee shops said they opposed the law.

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