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Dubai bans tobacco sales for 24 hours

DUBAI, May 31 — On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, the Dubai Municipality imposed a ban on the sale of tobacco products for 24 hours, effective on Thursday, May 31.

The ban includes the sale of cigarettes, cigars as well as the popular Arabian water-pipe called "Sheesha". With this ban, the Dubai Municipality wants to raise awareness about the health risks of smoking.

The initiative aims "to make people think about the dangers of tobacco consumption, as it kills millions of people and affects public health," Redha Salman, a senior official at the Dubai Municipality, was quoted by the Dubai daily Gulf News as saying.

World No Tobacco Day is observed globally every year on May 31.

Since 2008, the Dubai Municipality has been imposing in step-by-step moves a strict no-smoking rule in public buildings, hospitals, health clubs, shopping malls and in hotel lobbies. Smoking at the Dubai International Airport is only allowed in dedicated, albeit small areas.

Smoking in public busses and in the Dubai Metro is also forbidden, and disobedience is fined heavily. Enlightening a cigarette in official public transport means of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, for example, is fined with 200 Dirham (55 U.S. dollars). (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/ebp

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