Posts tagged ‘smoking’

Pipe ID by ~Quiet-Sam

Hillbilly Bass

IMG_4962

Your Appliances are Smoking Your Pipe

You know, I have this little hamster that runs around the Internet looking for possibly interesting pipe stories. It’s not a smart hamster. Today it came up with this:

Wilton  Villager

7:53 p.m.: Washington Post Drive, overheated motor. Report of a dishwasher smoking. Upon arrival occupant had shut off power to unit and it had stopped smoking.

Bad dishwasher! That was my best meerschaum, you bastard!

Smoking ban leaves capital in a haze over details of tobacco curbs

The National

The National staff
* Last Updated: January 08. 2010 2:44PM UAE / January 8. 2010 10:44AM GMT

Nasser Suleman, the owner of Al Bakri smoking shop, smokes a pipe at his shop on Airport Road. Ryan Carter / The National

Dubai will immediately implement the federal smoking ban, but Abu Dhabi is awaiting clarification before deciding which areas of the city will be non-smoking.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, signed a law effecting a nationwide smoking ban and controlling the import and advertising of tobacco products throughout the emirates.

Yesterday, uncertainty was rampant among private businesses and government officials alike over when and where the legislation would come into force.

A number of tobacco shop owners said they were awaiting clarification as to how the law would effect them.

However, the new law appears to make little difference to the way most emirates already operate.

Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah and Dubai have all implemented full or partial smoking bans since 2007 and the new law varies little from the existing legislation laid down by the respective municipalities.

The Abu Dhabi Municipality, however, said it needed further instruction before publicising what role it would take in enforcing the law.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority said it was “trying to clarify the situation with the federal authorities” before establishing whether hotels and restaurants in the city are affected.

Details on which premises are expected to comply are expected from the Ministry of Health in the coming week. An appendix to the law is expected within a month, providing confirmation of who will be affected.

Dubai, however, will begin to enforce the new law immediately, said Salem Mesmar, the municipality’s assistant director general for health, safety and environment control.

Abu Dhabi and Umm al Qaiwain stand to see the most change from the law, because every other emirate already has some form of smoking ban.

While the law bans smoking altogether in hospitals, mosques, educational institutes and sports facilities, its wording did not finally clarify whether hotels, restaurants and bars would be affected. While determining that smoking would be prohibited in “public closed spaces”, the ban did not specify whether that would lead to a full-scale halt in offices, hotels and restaurants.

A public place is defined in the introduction to the law as “an area arranged for receiving the public or any specific group of people for whatever purpose”.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and Abu Dhabi Municipality both said they were awaiting clarification from federal authorities before enforcing the ban.

What is clear is that everything will soon become clearer. The Ministry of Health has established a national committee to combat tobacco to implement the federal legislation, said Dr Mahmoud Fikri, the head of health legislation and policies at the ministry.

“By next week we will share our plans on how we will enforce the law and when, and answer all questions pertaining to the tobacco ban,” he said.

The committee consists of representatives from the health, finance and trade ministries, the health authorities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi and representatives from the transportation industry and the police. Municipalities and the Emirates Standardisation and Metrological Association will also be involved.

“All of us will work together to analyse the finer details of the law and the implementation of its various articles,” Dr Fikri said.

Later additions to the law should clarify the finer points regarding which establishments may allow their patrons to smoke. A copy of the law passed by the Federal National Council in February last year and obtained by The National stated that the specific places where smoking is not allowed “shall be named by the bill’s appendix”, which has not yet been published.

The details of the appendix will be added by the Ministry of Health within a month, the Al Ittihad newspaper reported yesterday.

While much remains to be clarified, not least of all how the law will be enforced and by whom, the law nevertheless makes a number of points clear:

• Smoking is prohibited in private vehicles in the presence of children under the age of 12.

• Tobacco products, including cigarettes packs, should contain a written statement and a picture that warn against smoking.

• Promotional materials that encourage smoking are banned.

• Cafes located in residential buildings or in residential areas will not be allowed to serve cigarettes or shisha.

• Individuals and companies who grow tobacco within the UAE, import candies and toys that resemble tobacco products or use equipment used for selling tobacco such as vending machines, could spend up to one year in prison or face a fine of as much as Dh1 million (US$272,250).

• Those who fail to print warning material on tobacco packages or publish promotional products that urge people to smoke can face a fine of as much as Dh1m.

• A ban on growing tobacco for commercial use is in place. Tobacco farms and factories have been given time to correct their situation.

Zaid al Siksek, the chief executive of Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, said “This is a major step and real breakthrough for tobacco control in the United Arab Emirates and will definitely contribute to reduce the substantial burden of disease and death due to smoking-related diseases, if the law will be carefully implemented and strictly enforced..

“A comprehensive ban on smoking in enclosed public places and indoor workplaces and public transport will now ensure that less people are exposed to the dangers of tobacco smoke. Also, the newly introduced comprehensive federal ban on sale of tobacco products to minors and banning pro-tobacco promotion, advertising and sponsorship are critically important measures to prevent specifically the youth from starting smoking.”

The only significant difference the law will bring to Dubai is the minimum age for buying tobacco products, which has dropped from 20 as recommended by Dubai Municipality to 18 as required by the federal law.

The Dubai municipal ban already regulated smoking in malls, hotels, restaurants, cafes and public areas. Dubai also banned businesses from selling cigarettes to those under 20 years of age in May 2008 and denied them access to areas designated for smokers. Hotels, motels, resorts and dormitories were also asked to designate special areas for smoking. Restaurants and cafes had to put clear sign separating smokers and non-smokers. Fines ranging from Dh1,000 to Dh10,000 were also slapped on offenders.

Salem Mesmar, the assistant director general of Dubai Municipality for health, safety and environment control, said: “When a federal law is issued, it is final. The entire country will follow it. If the federal law sets the age limit at 18 years, then we will follow it.

“We tried to keep the age limit for sale of cigarettes above 20 years. We thought that was better. Probably the Ministry of Health feels otherwise and have their reason for it.”

Dr Ali al Marzouqi, the director of the department of public health and safety at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said all public areas, including restaurants and hotels, should fall under the specifics of the new regulations.

“This is a federal law, so it supersedes all other laws that have been in place against smoking, including the ones implemented by the Dubai Heath Authority over the past few years,” he said. “The committee, together with all its stakeholders, will enforce this law and tell us how to proceed.

“We have found that 13 to 25 per cent of schoolchildren are smokers. Making it illegal to sell cigarettes to children below the age of 18, or making it illegal to smoke in cars with kids younger than 12 present, and stopping all the ads that make smoking attractive is a key step to preventing children from smoking.”

Raising the price of cigarettes in the UAE can be a second step to strengthen the effect of the law, he said.

In Sharjah, which introduced a strict public smoking ban in 2007 with fines ranging between Dh1,000 and Dh20,000, the emirate’s municipal council welcomed the changes yesterday at its weekly meeting.

Ahmad Turaym, the deputy head of the council, expressed concern that many youngsters had taken up smoking, which he said threatened the future of the country. He said about a quarter of the total smokers in the country were below the age of 18, although Sharjah Municipality said there were currently no age restrictions on the purchase of tobacco products in the emirate.

“The new legislation is an opportunity,” he said. “ We should use it to close all the avenues that youngster use to gain access to cigarettes or shisha.”

While officials work on clarifying the law begins, all the interested parties can do is wait.

“I really have no idea how the law would affect our businesses or the tobacco business in general,” said Younis Afandi of Iran, the owner of the Youssef Reda tobacco shop in Abu Dhabi.

newsdesk@thenational.ae
* With additional reporting by Yasin Kakande, Mahmoud Habboush, Hala Khalaf, Hassan Hassan, Anna Zacharias and Praveen Menon