At the beginning of the current year, on 6th January, Afghan parliament adopted a number of anti-smoking measures in order to reduce the widespread health hazard of smoking, and to prevent non-smokers from tobacco smoke. The new anti-smoking law bans smoking and tobacco use in such public places as hospitals, restaurants and schools.
The measures came into action immediately after adoption. Those who will break the new law will have to pay a fine of AFN300. Moreover, those who will sell tobacco in public places will have to pay a fine of 5-25 thousand AFN. Import duty on tobacco will be increased by 50% and cigarettes sale to kids will now be accepted as a criminal offence. Cigarettes advertising is going to be banned.
Mujib Rahman Samkanai, who is a member of Health Commission, told about the need to prohibit cigarette and tobacco ads. Instead, on TV and other media should be promoted ads against smoking.
The new legislation is expected to be more effective than previous ones. Previously, Afghan parliament was unable to pass the anti-smoking laws because it was not supported by members.
However, today the majority of members (99 of total 125 members) voted for the draft. 24 members opposed. This change is a great step to a comprehensive anti-smoking legislation that these days is being adopted in many countries worldwide. Afganistan is changing its attitude towards smoking and the role of tobacco in life.
The supporters of the law say that in Islam using tobacco is Haram prohibited and therefore tobacco use should be prohibited everywhere. It should be said that today tobacco is accepted as intoxicant.
There is no official data on how many Afghans are smoking. However, unscientific observations say that around 50% of Afghan men have smoked tobacco at some stage during their lives.
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