Dubai Municipality bans tobacco sale for 24 hours
WAM Dubai, 30th May 2012 (WAM) -- Dubai Municipality banned sale of tobacco products for 24 hours in the entire emirate to observe the World No Tobacco Day on Thursday May 31, announced Eng. Redha Salaman, Director of Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality.
World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe.
The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to 5.4 million deaths worldwide annually.
The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) in 1987. In the past twenty years, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance across the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry.
"The move is aimed at spreading awareness about the dangers of cigarette smoking to make people think about the dangers of tobacco consumption, as it kills millions of people and affects the public health," Eng. Redha said.
"The civic body had announced a programme to regulate smoking in public places in 31 May 2007. It has honoured many individuals and establishments for taking firm steps against smoking to promote a healthy life style in the society," he added.
To support 'Dubai without Smoking' initiative of the Municipality, 283 entities including shops, hypermarkets, supermarkets, 52 Emirates pumps and 85 ENOC and EPPCO petrol stations will participate in the campaign. All restaurants and cafes are expected to cooperate with the civic body and participate in the campaign by stopping the sale of tobacco products during the day.
The UAE joined the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on 24 June 2003 and ratified it on 7 November 2005. The move led the UAE to issue its own anti-tobacco law.
Dubai Municipality issued in 2007 a guide to help shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, cafes and other public facilities in the city to effectively regulate smoking in public places. It also banned the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 18.