Legal action taken against Ramadan tent for smoking violations

August 8, 2011

Bahraini authorities have referred a Ramadan tent to the public prosecutor for flouting anti-smoking rules, a health official said on Monday.

“Those who set up the tent had the permission of the municipalities, but did not approach the health ministry for the right to serve food and shishas (water pipe for smoking),” Maryam Al Jalahma, health ministry assistant undersecretary for primary care and general health, said.

“The tent did not meet the health criteria and the ventilation in the smoking area was not sufficient. The case has been referred to the public prosecutor,” she said.

Activists and the health ministry have been engaged in a zero-tolerance campaign towards public smoking and efforts are usually enhanced in Ramadan where shisha-smoking is among the top evening activities in the various tents that dot Bahrain and are used by families, friends and companies for light gatherings.

Under the Ramadan tent rules, the section allocated for smokers should always be less than 50 per cent of the total area. Owners can also set up a separate tent for smokers, but must be smaller than the smoke-free tent. Tents must have powerful ventilation to do away with the smoke.

People who are less than 18 years old are not allowed in the smoking tents or sections, even if they are with their parents, the regulations stipulate.

A hotline was set up to report complaints about smoking or food violations.

In April 2009, Bahrain introduced strict smoking laws included stringent action against parents for smoking in their cars in the presence of children.

The law banned smoking in indoor public places, including restaurants, cafes, hotels and hair salons, and on public transport. It also outlawed the advertising of cigarettes and the promotion of tobacco-products by manufacturing and importing companies at sports events and elsewhere.



About the author

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

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