Tobacco advertising on billboards related toFormula One motor racinghas been banned in Bahrain in a move to reduce smoking in the kingdom, where one in three adults smoke.
The ruling is part of a long-term campaign to remove cigarette and tobacco advertising at all of the kingdom's sporting events, Bahrain daily Gulf Daily News reported on Tuesday.
Mariam Al Jalahma, under-secretary for primary care and public health at the Health Ministry, said the ban was a significant development in Bahrain's effort to tackle its growing smoking epidemic, quoted the newspaper.
However, Al Jalahma would not comment on whether this ban would be extended to tobacco advertising during the race itself.
There is already a blanket ban on tobacco advertising in Europe and many F1 teams are no longer sponsored by tobacco companies.
A ban on all tobacco sponsorship in F1 will come into affect in 2009.
Al Jalahma said the government was currently studying anti-smoking laws of several countries, as it drafts its own legislation, according to Gulf Daily News.
The government first drafted an anti-smoking law in 1994, but it was not implemented. The new draft is a combination of the original draft and a new law proposed by the parliament.
The proposed anti-smoking law will see smokers fined up to 50 Bahrani dinars ($132) for lighting up in specified public areas, while restaurants which fail to properly separate smoking and non-smoking areas will be fined up to 5,000 dinars and closed for up to two months.
Al Jalahma expected the law would be passed by the Shura Council before the end of the year.
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