Tougher anti-smoking campaign bearing fruit
May 11, 2009 5:16pm CST
With the Ministry of Health intensifying its campaign against smoking more people have been punished for violating the provisionsof Law No 20 of 2002,which bans smoking in public places and regulates the import and sale of tobacco and its derivatives. In January this year alone, fines amounting to QR35,500 were imposed for various types of violations by the ministry's inspectors,many of whom have been given judicial powers. This represents a sharp increase from 2008,when fines to the tune of QR186,700 wereinposed during the whole year. Dr Ali Arab Ataullah of the anti-smoking unit at the ministry said the multi-faceted campaign against smoking had started delivering results. The number of smokers in the country is estimated to be about 37 percent of the total population,including nationals and expatriated.