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Wed 9 May 2007 05:57 PM

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Crackdown on Dubai's smokers

Municipality's drive to regulate lighting-up in public with new programme set for the emirate.

Dubai's smokers will see a major cut-back in smoking areas around the city as Dubai Municipality gets ready to roll out a new smoking plan.

The new law is set to regulate smoking in public places with the ultimate goal of banning open smoking in shopping malls and restaurants.

It will come into effect on May 31, coinciding with the World No Tobacco Day.

The move follows a decision by the Executive Council of the Emirate of Dubai on Monday to issue a law regulating smoking in public places.

The law will institute a blanket ban on smoking in schools, higher education establishments, hairdressing salons, health clubs, food courts and offices.

It will also ensure that ventilated smoking lounges are designated in cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls, and that anyone under 21 years of age is barred from these zones.

According to Hussain Nasser Lootah, acting director general of Dubai Municipality, the municipality's decision also comes in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan, which aims to protect public health and improve residents' quality of life.

Accoring to a municipality timetable, smoking will be banned in shopping malls and amusement centres from September 15, and in food and public health establishments - such as beauty salons, hotels and cinemas - from 15 November.

Violators of the law will be fined from 2008 onwards.

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