By Francesca Astorri
New law to be approved by government shortly
Shopping malls in Qatar will soon have the power to fine anyone found smoking in their premises.
With the new anti-tobacco law due to approved by the Cabinet shortly, shopping mall managements will be given the power to control smoking in their malls and the right to impose fines, Doha based daily The Peninsula reports.
“The new law will support health inspectors to collect fines in a better way and it will also support the people who control public places” said Dr. Mohammed Al Thani, Director of the Public Health Department at the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) told the Peninsula.
The management of shopping complexes have long expressed their inability to implement anti-smoking laws due to lack of legal authority.
Last year 829 people were handed out fines for smoking in public places and the anti-tobacco unit of SCH collected more than US$82,400 in fines from smokers for lighting up in public places.