New Anti-Tobacco Laws in Qatar

Quatar Man

The new anti-smoking law soon will be adopted in Qatar. According to Supreme Council of Health (SCH), the new law bans smoking inside cars and use of chewing tobacco.

According to Tariq Salahuddin, head of the Legal Department at the SCH, the proposed law is goung to extend the existing anti-tobacco law, and includes ban of sale and use of chewing tobacco. Also new law increases fines for smoking in public places. The most important its part is that it bans smoking in cars and those who will violate it will have to pay a fine.

During an anti-smoking workshop organised by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Salahuddin told that judicial authorities will have the power to detect and report violations. The main aim of the workshop is to increase the role of imams and preachers in limiting tobacco use in the country.

According to Dr Ahmed Mohamed Al Mulla, head of the Smoking Cessation Clinic at Hamad Medical Corporation, there was proposed to create in Qatar an association that will fight with smoking. At the moment the proposal is awaiting approval from the State Cabinet.

In Qatar most popular form of tobacco use is cigarettes, then goes hookah and sweika. Arab communities use another kind of tobacco, called “Al Saud”. Al Mulla says that it is very difficult to quit smoking tobacco in comparison with other ways of using tobacco. For tobacco companies all these anti-tobacco laws mean reduction in cigarettes sales.

Today smoking is on the rise in the Arab world due to their rich culture in smoking, but it is declining in the USA and Europe. In Qatar are sold cheapest cigarettes in comparison with some other GCC countries.

Since the opening of the Smoking Cessation Clinic, around 35% of the smokers who have visited it have quit their smoking habit.

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