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Fri 8 Aug 2008 05:43 AM

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Beaches next on list for smoking ban

Municipality chiefs in UAE step up their campaign to prevent people smoking in public places.

Beaches would be next to be targeted in the campaign to prevent people in the UAE from smoking in public.

Just days after announcing the smoking ban would be extended to public parks in Dubai, plans for indoor smoking areas on the city’s beaches are being considered.

Designated zones would be set aside for smokers in open-air public areas such as Jumeirah Open Beach and Safa Park, reported UAE daily The National on Friday, quoting Ahmad Al Shammari, the director of the Public Health Department at Dubai Municipality.

But he told the paper that it was too early to say if or when other smoking bans would be brought in, such as on the street or in bars.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Municipality confirmed on Thursday a smoking ban would be introduced within two months, covering all public places in the capital. Three of the five main malls in Abu Dhabi have already introduced partial smoking bans.

Cutting the number of smokers in the country has become a top priority for health officials. A Ministry of Health study revealed a quarter of those aged between 12 and 16 in the UAE were full-time smokers.

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