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Tue 9 Mar 2010 08:02 AM

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Saudi Arabia mulls new legislation on smoking

Draft law would see penalties, public areas in which smoking will be banned.

Saudi Arabia mulls new legislation on smoking
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Saudi Arabian officials are considering a new draft law aimed at curbing smoking in the kingdom, it was reported on Tuesday.

The Shoura Council on Monday considered the legislation that would include a penalty of SR500 for those who smoke inside airports and designate public places where smoking would be banned, Arab News reported.

It would also stop the cultivation of tobacco and the production of products that contain tobacco in the kingdom and increase tariffs on imported tobacco products.

In comments published by the paper, Shoura Council member Amr Al-Waleek opposed imposing a penalty, adding: “There should (instead) be organised awareness campaign against smoking in schools and mosques."

Saudi Arabia is the latest Gulf state to consider anti-smoking legislation. In January, the UAE announced anti-smoking laws banning smoking in many public areas but their enactment has been delayed while enforcement issues are clarified.

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