UAE health officials urge total smoking ban

Tuesday May 17 2011

Senior UAE health officials have called for a total smoking ban in all public places, it has been reported.

Dr Salim Adib, the head of public health and safety at the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, said the new anti-smoking law, set to be in place by the end of the year, did not go far enough.

We want to prevent the use of tobacco products in all public venues in the country. We want to fight this, he told the National. I don`t think we should accept anything less than what is happening in Western Europe.

It is illegal to smoke in public places in countries, including the UK and France, Canada and Australia. The UAE`s Federal National Tobacco Law includes a partial ban on smoking cigarettes and shisha in public areas.

The law also bans young people below the age of 18 from buying cigarettes and people smoking in cars where there are children younger than 12.

Dr Wedad al Maidoor, the head of the Ministry of Health s National Tobacco Control Committee, told the paper the right balance needed to be struck to prevent harm to businesses and tourism.