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TRAVEL > Kuwait tightens restrions on smoking

ISTANBUL-Hürriyet Daily News

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The ban applies to shisha smoking in public places in addition to cigarettes.

The ban applies to shisha smoking in public places in addition to cigarettes.

Kuwait is the first Arab country to ban all forms of smoking in non-secluded public places, including cafes, restaurants, airports, shopping malls and hotels, the Egypt Independent website reported. The ban applies to shisha smoking in addition to cigarettes.

But the country’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has said that cafes, restaurants and shopping malls may allocate a secluded area for smokers, the state-run Kuna news agency reported.

The Ministry of Health has said that the ban will include smoking in schools, universities, hospitals and government offices.
Last month, health ministers from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — agreed that cigarette taxes will sharply increase at the end of 2012.

The GCC also agreed on a draft law that severely restricts smoking in public places. Kuwait is the first country to adopt national legislation imposing a blanket ban on public smoking.

A 2010 GCC-wide study found that 40 percent of teenagers between 13 and 15 smoked, compared with only 24 percent in 2005.

February/15/2012

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