Qatar pledges to boost its crackdown on smokers who continue to light up in non-smoking areas

April 20, 2010
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Qatar has pledged to boost its crackdown on smokers who continue to light up in non-smoking areas amid reports that their number is on the rise despite stiff fines.

“A total of 354 violators have been fined QR 85,900 since the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) launched the anti-smoking campaign on March 18,” Shaikha Dr Al Anood Bint Mohammad Al Thani, SCH’s Health Promotion and Communicable Diseases director, has said. “The number of health inspectors in each team has been raised to 10 to boost the capabilities and tasks of each unit,” she said in Doha.

The campaign aims to make public places like malls and shopping centres smoke-free zones and inspectors have carried out 117 checks.

“Some health inspectors and volunteers have been granted legal authority by Emiri Law 20/ 2002 to enforce the law and the council is planning to increase the number of volunteers with legal power to ensure a full application of the law and deter people from smoking in enclosed places,” Shaikha Al Anood said.

Before the launch of the campaign, only police officials had the authority to impose fines.

According to the SCH, the role of the inspectors is not juts to impose fines. “They have the task of creating awareness by distributing pamphlets and other information booklets to the public.”

The anti-smoking drive has led Qatar to mull the opening of more smoking cessation clinics in primary healthcare centres to help smokers butt out the habit. Qatar has only one such a clinic.

 

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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