Qatar introduces stricter law against smoking

A new tobacco law in Qatar will see hefty fines for motorists smoking in cars with children and serious repercussions for those caught selling cigarettes to minors.

If drivers are caught smoking with a minor under the age of 18 in the vehicle, they will now face a fine of 3,000 Qatari riyals ($824), according to Doha News.

While it was already illegal to sell cigarettes to minors in Qatar, under the new law, businesses that sell cigarettes to anyone under 18 will face fines up to 100,000 Qatari riyals and the salesperson will face possible jail time. Previously, the salesperson faced only a fine.

New regulations included with the law prohibit the sale of tobacco within 1,000 meters of schools and educational institutions, whereas previous regulations were set at 500 meters.

Those who choose to smoke in covered public spaces will risk a significant fine of 3,000 Qatari riyals, raised from the previous 500 Qatari riyals.

The new law follows crack downs on tobacco in other Gulf countries. In June, Saudi Arabia banned smoking in most public places and implemented stricter regulations on the sale of tobacco products, with violators facing fines of up to 20,000 Saudi riyals ($5,331). The National Tobacco Control Committee of the United Arab Emirates also announced in May that it is pushing for a blanket ban on smoking in public.

Within the UAE, different emirates have varying regulations controlling smoking in public and the sale of tobacco. At the beginning of the year, Sharjah even implemented fines for smoking shisha in public.


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