Dr. Wedad Al Maidour, a member of the Committee and the Head of Tobacco Control Programme at the Ministry of Health and Prevention recently revealed that the UAE, a signatory of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, is being pushed by the World Health Organization to “change the law from having designated smoking areas to 100 percent smoke-free areas in public spaces”. The National Tobacco Control Committee of the UAE will therefore make a proposal to amend the Federal Tobacco Control Law, making public spaces 100 percent smoke-free.
This amendment should be proposed by the end of 2016. It might cover all public buildings and areas, which means that smoking will only be allowed in private buildings and homes. If this amendment is approved by the Prime Minister’s office, designated smoking areas in malls, restaurants, workplaces and other public areas will have to be removed.
According to the current legislation, smoking in banned areas, such as smoking in cars in the company of children aged under 12, is already sanctioned by a AED 500 fine.