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Smoking Ban Starts Next November In Saudi Arabia

Smoking Ban Starts Next November In Saudi ArabiaOn Monday, Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation and chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation () announced a ban on smoking inside all Saudi airports and a SR200 fine for violators. Abdullah Al-Rahimi, president of () mentioned that the recent announcement by () was made in association with other relevant bodies, and that the goal is to organize a healthy, clean and smoke-free environment at airports through the Kingdom. Al-Rahimi reported airports have been recommended to activate the ban beginning from Dul Hijjah (next November).  Al-Rahimi also called on airport crew and passengers to stop smoking inside airports and to assistance with airport security in respecting the ban. Special smoking regions will be created inside the Kingdom’s airports for smokers. Airport officers who smoke will be sanctioned by fine, have their airport security cards confiscated and emanated official warnings.

Fines will be collected by airport security, which works under the supervision of Royal Air Force. Smoking people who are fined will be questioned for their Saudi ID cards or iqamas .All money collected will be put in a special anti-smoking fund attributed to the Ministry of Health. When questioned how foreign visitors who don’t have iqamas will be sanctioned by fine, GACA spokesman Khaled Al-Khaibari reported that they included a small percentage of individuals who use airports and are always familiar with smoking restrictions in their home cities. He also said that airport crew will declare warnings above microphones. When asked if the recent rule will be useful in stamping out the smoking problem, Khaled Al-Khaibari answered yes, as it will be performed stringently.

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