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Saudi cracks down on smoking in some areas

Saudi cracks down on smoking in some areas

The kingdom wants to reduce the prevalence of smoking in society

Saudi Arabia’s Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has announced a crackdown on smoking in some areas under plans to reduce the prevalence of the habit in society.

The drive comes following the release of 2015 data from the World Bank estimating 28 per cent of men in Saudi Arabia smoke, an increase of 8 per cent since 2000.

The SFDA said it had banned smoking in workplaces and factories it supervises.

These include vehicles transporting medicine, health supplies and food and beverages and factories, clinic, labs, pharmacies and other places manufacturing and preparing the same goods.

Smoking is considered the use of any product in which tobacco is an ingredient ranging from cigarettes and cigars to shisha pipes

Financial penalties for breaking the law range from SAR5,000 ($1,378) to SAR20,000 ($5,351) for every violation.

In addition, any individual found smoking in a place where they are not allowed will be fined SAR200 ($54).

“The anti-smoking system aims to take all necessary measures at the level of the state, society and individuals, in order to reduce the smoking habit of all types in individuals and in different stages of life,” SFDA executive director communication and awareness Dr Abdulrahman Al-Sultan.

In 2016, the kingdom banned smoking in eight public areas including the vicinities of religious, educational, health, sports, cultural, social and charity institutions.

Read: Saudi Arabia implements strict anti-smoking laws

It also began imposing a 100 per cent selective tax on tobacco products in June last year.

Read: Saudi to begin imposing tobacco, soft drinks tax in June

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